Give Me Seven Seconds

0 comments Posted on December 1, 2021

by Jami Amerine

I decided this is all I want for Christmas. Just give me seven seconds. Just seven. Stop, drop the phone, smart tablet, or another digital communication device to be released, between now and the next seven seconds. Step away from the scissors, the brightly colored paper, and the tape. No more cookies, or cider, or leftover stuff. I just want seven seconds.

Now then, look me in the eyes, and do not look away, and let’s connect this Christmas, the good old-fashioned way.

We started doing this with one of our young sons, who we adopted when he was two. If I am to be honest, which I love to be, he was on my last nerve. It was honestly probably more me than boy, but I knew we were in a cycle of irritation and strife. And I caught myself. I took the thought captive, he is responding to my irritation, and we both need more.

So I said, “Give me seven seconds!” And he stopped and said, “Sit-ups?” Which truly makes no sense, I have never Marine bootcamped any of my children. Shipped them to the Marines, yes. But I never personally charged any one of my six children with endurance practices to serve as behavior modification.


Maybe I did.

“No, silly?” I bantered. “Look me in the eyes for seven seconds. I will count.” And there we were. Nose to nose, lashes nearly brushing, when I said, “One.”

And he said, “Two.”

We took turns . . . three, four, five, six, aaaaaand . . . seven. But my stare did not break. And then my nose itched, and he could no longer fane his age, and I said, “I sure do like you.” And he said, “I am glad I had an extra seven seconds.”

Oh, but it has been a while, hasn’t it? Perhaps a whole year or more has passed. And we longed to hug, and we grumbled of our forced separation, grateful we were safe and ready to know for sure. But it wasn’t until I was irritated, it wasn’t until I felt on edge, that I remembered how I used to look into my children’s eyes, and wonder and pray and hope and dream. Much like Christmas, only anytime I had seven seconds.

May you meet with connection. May you feel God’s goodness ever near. And if I may be so bold to say, for those of you who are separated, and seven seconds is not of this world, perhaps cyber or passed on, mental or development troubles, still take your seven seconds. With the mind of a child, with the love that you feel, take that seven seconds and connect with that which is not in front of you. Practice the ease of that space, the lovely place in your mind, where memories or hopes are tended to and no tear is shed, that is not collected.

Perhaps there are a dozen posts on how to embrace the spirit of love this Christmas. May I be even bolder to add just one more? This year don’t forget, put it on your list, and stop and look into the eyes of love. Connect, remember, and love well.

Tis this season!

Jami Amerine is an author, speaker, artist, wife, mom, and friend. Her latest book Rest, Girl is available at your favorite book seller. Learn more about Jami at

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