Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers
Slice of life.
Today I free wrote and drafted with my students: our first ever Slice of Life piece! It was a good lesson. We used 2 slices that I found on my twitter feed this morning (The Honor of Watching Her Age by Katherine Sokolowski, and Because of Winn Dixie by Colby Sharp.) We closely read them to try to figure out the structure of a Slice of Life piece, and then started our own pieces. As I free wrote with the kids, I started to write about my children at home this morning. I was trying to decide which piece of my morning slice I would choose: Waking up smooshed between the 3 year old, “E” and 7 year old, “H?” The chubby sleepy cheeks of both of them, looking even younger as they sleep? Remarking with H on how his brother still looks like a baby when he’s sleeping? The soft patter of H as he sleepily makes his way downstairs, already dressed because that’s the first thing he does? My 10 year old daughter, L, waking up bright but sleepy; her brightness turning sour as clothing tags itched and hair was brushed of tangles? Husband, with his gray knit hat starting the car for me, telling me to be safe? Leaving the house with a kiss and a goodbye to all? Watching my daughter in her daily routine of coming all the way outside with me to give the final wave goodbye? Driving to school only to get a phone call that little E forgot that he already said goodbye, is sad, and wants to say goodbye again?
The slice of my morning is often the same – rushed and stressful with snippets of cuteness built into the package so I don’t run away screaming before the lunches are packed. My brain struggles to take snapshots of the amazing moments, the soft snuggles, the cute expressions, and amazing smart ideas of my kids. I soak up all the hugs I can get as I rush to work…
As I sat down this evening to finish my draft of my morning slice, so I could post it on my blog like the big kid #slice13 challenger I hope to one day be, I heard E start to cough, and then get sick in his bed. What happened next is by-the-book, night-time, sick-child parenting. Put down computer, run up stairs, grab towels and wipes (it was too late). Take whimpering child (“I’m sick! I’m cold! Mama!”) into bathroom, peel off jammies, put child in the tub, rinse and repeat. . .
My new slice is this little guy, almost 4, sitting in our giant tub. The bathroom is a mess from remodeling and the laundry problem that is it’s own “slice,” I’m sure. The heater doesn’t work (Know a good heater guy who might actually call us back?) and the sinks need to be wiped down. But, the little guy! He has a soaking wet hot washcloth on his back, and is finally calm from the warm water. His eyes are closing and when I take the wash cloth off his back to rewarm it, he asks me to put back the “cozy towel.” He sleeps in the tub, totally confident and comfortable and trusting that my hands are there – letting him sleep and recover from the sick without falling in the water. He breathes comfortably. There are a few coughs here and there, but he is better than before. Out of the tub and into my bed he goes. And that is where I am writing this, with my not-still-a-baby-but-still-my-baby, cuddled up (on a towel, just in case!) Even though this slice is messy, and a little gross… I’m taking brain snapshots because I want to remember these cheeks, these snuggles, these middle of the night sleeping baths!