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Five minutes of fun

published: 2009-06-15

In the playground recently, I told my son “five more minutes.” We left half an hour later. The sun was shining. Simply being there, watching him and doing nothing in particular was fine.
As a little girl, five more minutes of swimming felt really, really long. Only a few years later, five minutes went by in a flash.
Perhaps my mother’s five minutes were like mine. Maybe that one time she relaxed for a moment and thought, “to hell with it, she’s having fun. We’ll have a sandwich tonight instead of vegetables.” Maybe those five minutes were actually thirty. These are the kind of things you discover once you’re a parent yourself. There are no absolute truths. There never were.

9 Responses to “Five minutes of fun”

  1. T says:

    … at this rate there never will be! Thank you. Did you ever ask you mom about those 5 minutes?

  2. alief says:

    No, I never did. There are many things I should ask her but haven’t, I’m not sure I ever will. Sometimes, once a thought about someone is expressed to that person, it gets a different meaning through that person’s reactions.

  3. T says:

    I can tell you that these questions get a certain urgency when parents are no longer around.

  4. alief says:

    @T What question would you have liked to ask?

  5. T says:

    @alief I would have liked to ask my dad how he made the decision to stay in Ghana during the famine when everyone else fled. In my view the best decision he made for me and my siblings in terms of life experience but the political and physical dangers could not have escaped him as a parent.
    I mean my challenge today is: to vaccinate before age 1, yea or nay?

  6. alief says:

    @T Has your dad ever left a ‘box’ (see my today’s entry) behind of some sort? Perhaps you can find the answers there? Or maybe you could one day go and look for the answer in Ghana? Talk to people who knew him?

  7. T says:

    @Alief Thanks for the positive feedback. Actually the family achiever has been collecting all his correspondence with family members over the 30 odd years he lived in Ghana. I am hoping to get a lot of information from those letters once I get a copy. That’s as close to the “box” as I have of my father. Going to Ghana is not going to be possible for a while.

  8. alief says:

    @T One day, we’ll go back to Ghana together. And I’ll chronicle your journey, your thoughts, the mango trees and of course it has to be a white Lada. How does that sound?

  9. T says:


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