My First Slice

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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!

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14 thoughts on “My First Slice

    1. Thanks for being the first commenter on my first slice! I really appreciate your thoughts… or as my instructional coach put it: “How awesome is it that Katherine Sokolowski replied to you!”

  1. Hi
    I think your slice of life captures the ways a day unfolds for many of us (me, although my kids are a little older now and won’t let me wrap them up in towels when they don’t feel so great. I miss that.) The way I think about slice of life is to focus in on moments that seem important but would otherwise slip away from us. That’s what you have nicely done here. You’ve captured the essence of the day. Thanks for sharing.
    Kevin
    PS — Your blog is another stop on my #nerdlution of leaving 50 comments on 50 blogs over 50 days. Thanks for being here!

    1. Your 50 blogs over 50 days of blog comments has really inspired me to comment on other blogs. I do so much blog reading . . . and it means so much to comment!

      Thanks for your comment – and your inspiration! 🙂

  2. I still remember how nervous I was to click publish the first time. Still get that feeling once in awhile! But the slicer community is a welcoming one.

    Your slice brought back lots of “mommy” memories for me. When it’s happening you don’t think you will ever miss them, but you do….

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on my first slice! It was certainly scary to click publish. Hopefully it will get easier.

      I try my best to remember that these messy slices are the ones I’ll miss. . . sometimes remembering that is hard… but I try 🙂

  3. Welcome to slicing! So many bits of life fly out of our minds unless we jot them down. You’ve caught the busy-ness of every day. Hope your little one is feeling better now.

    1. Thanks so much for the welcoming comment! E was home sick today… but hopefully better by morning. Now my daughter went to bed with a sore throat… so I’m sure the germs are being shared. 🙂

      You’re right – all these bits of life are just gone from our minds unless we write them down. Imagine looking through all the slices of your life decades from now! How amazing to have those memories recorded.

    1. Thanks! Yes – I hear tell I’ll miss it! 🙂 I know I will… I tell my husband all the time… one day, the kids will be out of the house, and I’ll be sitting in my clean, quiet living room crying! 🙂

  4. Welcome to this wonderful community of writers. Your slice reminded me of those days long, long ago when I was going through those difficult days of caring for my kids. Hope your little one is feeling better. I look forward to reading more of your slices.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving this welcoming comment. I can’t wait to write and read more slices – it’s such a great way to connect. Just hearing people say what you said — that the slice reminds them of their parenting lives, is a nice connection to have.

  5. I love that I could feel those chubby sleep cheeks against my shoulder just as you described Ona! My teenagers occasionally grace my bed and I find them curling up with me in the middle of the night and then not wanting to admit it the next morning (okay, maybe that’s just the 13 year old :-). I’m proud of your 50 days of writing and activity and I continue to proclaim that I want to be just like you when I grow up!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Mardi!
      I’m glad there is hope for snuggles throughout the teenage years… because as smooshed and squished as I sometimes feel… It is mostly just heartbreakingly snuggly.

      And you are an awesome #nerdlution cheerleader! Thank you!!!

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