Five more minutes

Five more minutes

It was already twenty minutes past her bedtime as I peeked into her room to kiss her good night. Settled in the comfort of her bed, covered by the thick and warm blankets that came all the way up to her chin, she lay there, sleepy but eager to talk. As usual.

Seeing me at the door, she let out a squeal, ‘Amma! Can you come and sit for a while? I want to tell you about my day!’

Tired me hesitated and then said, ‘Darling, can’t it wait till tomorrow?’

Pouting, she replied, ‘But then it won’t be about today.’

Sighing I stood undecided in the doorway. ‘Tell you what. Let me make my bed and finish a few chores. I’ll be back after that.’

Gy settled back down and said, ‘Sure. If I am still awake, you have to promise to come and sit with me for 5 minutes. Deal?’


As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I’d given an irrevocable promise. It’s kind of an unwritten rule between us, this bond between mother and daughter, that we wouldn’t break a deal.

Finishing my chores took me ten minutes. Glancing at the clock, I figured she might be asleep but a promise is a promise. Stealthily pushing the door ajar, I checked to see if she was awake and almost as if she knew it would be me, she sat up straight and stretched out her arms.

‘You came!’

Her beaming smile was all it took for me to know that I’d made the right decision. The next five minutes passed in a bit of a blur as she speedily recounted every minute detail from her day. From the new teacher who was a darling to the Sir who was jumpy and irritable, she left no detail untold. Everything was laid out for me to hear as I sat and massaged her feet after a long day.

Sitting there, watching her face light up even as she fought back sleep, I realised, this is heaven, right here, in the palm of my hand. As the five minutes drew to a close, she pulled me in for a hug that lasted longer than I’d expected and a kiss that I can still feel on my cheek as I type this out for you all to read.

Who else in the whole wide world loved me as much as she did? Without condition, without expectation, without any form of return, except perhaps love, this child shared her day with me.

The next time a child asks for five more minutes, make the time. It could be for a game, a chance to talk or maybe just sit and hug in silence. It’s just five minutes but the benefits of that bond last well beyond that time limit.

Isn’t that the best five minutes I can ask for? Every single day? If it means lesser time doing other things and more time spent with her growing up, I’m going to choose these five minutes. Every time.


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24 thoughts on “Five more minutes

  1. I absolutely believe in this, and though the details are too much to deal with sometimes, it's better for them to know that you will always listen :). I've been low on patience lately, so this was an especially lovely read for me, thanks dear Shailaja.

  2. She's growing up, Apu and a part of me wants to just hold on to all these moments the best I can. I stay with her completely when she is back from school these days- no phone or laptop until after she is asleep.I aim to continue that as well as I can. It's very fulfilling.

  3. What a lovely write up and advice Shailaja. I'm sure even children remember these precious moments when they grow up. Time will never stop. Chores can take a backseat but children will be priority. Isn't it? What a lovely read this morning!

  4. Precious! I have my niece and nephew visiting these days and 5 extra minutes with them never hurt. We may play or dance or sing or watch something or click pictures, but those gratifying eyes after 5 minutes are truly worth it 🙂

    Very warm write up 🙂


  5. Every child wishes to speak to their parents in an open manner. They wish to say and explain in detail everything that happened to them in the day, and that really is a good thing. Who knows, Gy will turn out to be a great storyteller and fictioneer just like her mum 😉

  6. How sweet of Gy to understand you and ask of you that five minutes! You have got your priorities set. 🙂 These moments will always be the best ones of your life, like they say, it is all in the everyday simpler things that matter.

  7. Awww…the time with little ones is always so precious and their love unconditional. This just made me go awww. You two have such a beautiful bond.

  8. She is the sweetest. That she sticks to the 'five minutes' is what amazes me. At our home their five minutes stretch to twenty and it still isn;t enough. And it all has to come at bed-time. Sigh! I need to learn patience from you.

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