36 Seconds

By Misty Kay

My husband Daniel and I live with our four children on the 13th floor of an apartment building in Taichung City, Taiwan. Needless to say, the elevator is a part of our daily lives.

Daniel replied that with so many marriage problems in the world and divorce so common, children need to know that their parents love each other

It had been just another normal, busy day, with most of my time and energy spent keeping the kids happy, fed, and out of one another’s hair. We had all been out together, doing what I don’t even remember, and were coming home. We stepped into the empty elevator, and one of the kids pressed the button. The number 13 lit up on the panel, and the doors closed.

“Children, your mother and I have an important announcement,” Daniel said in a way that commanded everyone’s attention.

I had no idea what this was about. Daniel is a spontaneous man, full of surprises, and I never know what to expect from him. In a quick impulse I decided to play along. I moved next to him and put my arm in his to add authority to whatever he was going to say.

“Your mother and I want you to know that after fourteen years of marriage, we are still totally and emphatically in love.” Then he turned and kissed me like a bride.

Wow! I hadn’t seen that coming.

The kids laughed a little and asked, “Why is that an important announcement?”

Daniel replied that with so many marriage problems in the world and divorce so common, children need to know that their parents love each other. Then he looked our son in the eye and said, “When you get married someday, you need to treat your wife right.”

A loud ding announced the thirteenth floor, and the elevator doors opened. When we walked into our apartment, the kids’ chatter was punctuated by little giggles, and Daniel and I slipped into our room to enjoy a private moment together.

In 36 seconds between the first and thirteenth floors, Daniel had brought our family closer, put smiles on our faces, taught our son a life lesson, and put warmth in my heart that filled my whole being.

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