Stop and take a little time out with me
Just take five...just take five
Just stop your busy day to take the time out to see
That I'm alive...I'm alive

- The Specials

You could listen to TheDeadGuy (see above), or you can:

Take five.

That's what my parents called it. If my father came home tired and frazzled, they'd tell us they were going to take five back in the bedroom.

Five minutes usually became fifteen. It wasn't enough time for my brother and me to get into trouble - and anyway, we instinctively protected that time for my parents, and were quiet while they were in there with the door shut.

It wasn't enough time for anything more than an interlude of peace, but that seemed to be enough. My father would come out happier, more relaxed, and play with us or tease my mother by dancing around her while she cooked with the radio on.

This affected me. I came to understand the power that even just five minutes of kind, caring intimacy can have to soothe and heal a frazzled mind.

When my sweetheart comes over after work, I give him a kiss and take him by the hand back to the bedroom. We snuggle up, and I hold him and stroke his hair while he tells me about his day.

It's a time for him to put things in perspective in the telling of it, and for me to know what's happening in his life at work. I just listen. And if I talk, he listens. It's not so much a conversation as it is sharing.

Of course, sometimes one thing leads to another and five becomes an hour and we end up going out for Chinese in the lateness of the hour instead of making dinner - which we can get away with in the current absence of kids who might, in the interim, be getting into the Draino, hatching plots for total world domination, or banging down the bedroom door demanding chicken nuggets.