The Eight-Minute Love Story

The good of one self
is to be the good of another.
definition of love from
The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

I have discovered the most appreciated feature in our new home is the built-in babysitter whose frequent use brings renewed love to a 17-year marriage. For payment of a recent day out, our children requested we bring home Krispy Kreme from our date.

After a full day together we left the comfort of the Ikea meatball dinner and turned toward the inevitable two-hour drive home, contemplating whether to fulfill their glazed over dreams. We did. We pulled off the interstate at the exit and stopped. When we drove back on the interstate again, my husband looked at the clock and announced, “Eight minutes.”

Those minutes, or maybe just a sugar rush, created delighted eyes. Their delight captured feelings of giving and receiving love.

In the busyness to do things for those I love, sometimes my exhaustion tempts me to bypass both doing for love and feeling love altogether. This is most difficult to admit because I am generally well-rested. My youngest child is nearly nine and way beyond middle of the night wakings that leave me hallucinating without sleep.

That is why I was surprised by her knocking at my bedroom door at 3:59 a.m. “Mom, I threw up on the bathroom floor,” she said.

“Is it all over or just in a little spot?” I asked, wondering if she could just throw a towel over it until morning. She reported the multiple locations. Out of practice with such episodes, I took over a minute to react. Then, I cleaned the bathroom, I cleaned myself and I went to her room to clean her.

Cozy in her covers, she peeked out at me and said, “I am sorry I made a mess.”

I cupped my hand around her face. Her cheek was soft and warm, and again, for the second night in a row, love filled her eyes. When I returned to my room, it was 4:08 a.m. Only eight minutes.

lovesymbol image by

Right there I stopped counting the eight-minute interruptions of the weekend and relished another eight-minute connection. Eight minutes to listen to a daughter on a car ride home. Eight minutes for a romantic goodbye while packing with my husband for a business trip. Eight minutes for a cherished hug and chat with a friend. Eight minutes to remember and encourage someone who was struggling. Eight minutes to love.

To know true love is to feel throughout these minutes as they evolve into stages, each beautiful and fulfilling in its own way. Seeking and receiving the attentions of a parent. Affirmation from friends. The dizzying depth of first romantic love. The passionate yet intelligent bond in truer commitment. Adoration and awe at the birth of a baby. Maternal sacrifice of self. Expanding compassion beyond an immediate circle. New faces and friendships awakening old feelings. Seeing beyond imperfections to offer or accept a forgiving heart. Maturing familiarity. Rediscovery.

Love develops in time. And filling fleeting minutes with love creates an abundance of eight-minute chapters in life’s love story.


This post is an entry in Scribbet’s Write-Away Contest; see her site to read other entries.

lovesymbol image copyright by Paulus Rusyanto, at


  1. Rachel Corbett
    Feb 18, 2008

    Oh, I liked that!

  2. Michelle at Scribbit
    Feb 19, 2008

    They’re always so grateful when you can clean them up and put them back to bed after a bout of sickness. As much as I value a good night’s rest and as non-fond as I am of sickness I’ve never really been irritated when they get sick like that–I guess it’s my nurturing thing that kicks in under crisis mode or something.

  3. LJ
    Feb 19, 2008

    What a joy to see your inner feelings come to the surface to be shared with others. Your sentiments are so like the things I feel that it brings a tear to my eye.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. allysha
    Feb 20, 2008

    I really enjoyed this post. It’s good to be reminded that important things really don’t require all that much.

    In response to your comment about Fit for the Kingdom; I’m so glad you enjoy them. They are a project my husband is apart of and he feels very strongly about them!

  5. Camille
    Jan 1, 2009

    Yes, that was beautiful. You do have such a way of capturing the moments and your feelings and so much beyond all that too. I love words and how they can help us understand what’s truly there. Thanks. You inspire me to write more!

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