Mother's column – Enjoying independence


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash, Minna Autio

"How old do you have to be to move out of the house?" Martha asks one day. I hear the desire for freedom in her voice. "When you are around 18, it is early enough to become independent", I respond. "But we love keeping you here for a while", I add. Fortunately, I still need a package of butter and a few onions. Doing groceries independently is also lovely.

She smells even more freedom. "Can I buy a present for Reinout's birthday?" "If you don't use my money for it", I reply. Just in case, I ask her about the budget she has in mind. I know that Martha can be a very cheerful giver. But her budget is only 2.20 euros this time, so that is not too bad. Quickly, I run to get a shopping bag out of the pantry, but Martha has left already when I return.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

In my thoughts, I see how she skips through the store delightfully, looking for butter and onions. And how she then proceeds to the local department store to look at slime, glitters and stress balls – not because Reinout likes those very much, but because it never tires her.

About 45 minutes later, she is back, looking a little flustered. Surprised, I look at the egg carton in her hands. I thought I did not order eggs. At least I also see a wrapped present between the butter and the onions. "Two bubble makers for Reinout", Martha explains. "They only cost 1 euro, so I still had 20 cents left. That was just enough for one free run egg. I thought it would be nice to eat a boiled egg with my tea tonight. And it was also handy to put my purchases in the egg carton. But when I was almost home and tried to open the gate, I dropped the egg."

Free running chicken. Photo iStock

And indeed, when I go outside and look at the sidewalk just outside the gate, I see a fresh egg, with only the yellow yoke still intact, on the street. Nothing can be done to save it anymore. Fortunately, I bought eggs myself yesterday. "Are you sure those are free run?" Martha informs suspiciously; she has had some left-wing ideas over the past few weeks.

At least I can reassure her: she will get a free run egg with her tea this evening. Sometimes, it is nice to live at home.



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