Category Archives: Slice of Life

A few slice haiku

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

Oh, man – almost March.
Better start writing again
Daily habits – ugh.

Hope writing becomes
My procrastination win
Slice and allow mess

Laundry? Add blog post
Dishes? Lunches to pack? Write!
Kids? Work? Sleep? Slice – duh.

Oh, man – almost March.
Get me out of this slump now.
Allow writing please.


I’m noticing, A Slice

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers


Tonight, we went to see Kinky Boots. We felt a little guilty putting off our homework until later tonight, but Mary Ehrenworth told us to go out and have fun, so it was like a direction, right?

The theater was beautiful, and the seats were great! There’s nothing like the feeling of a show about to start: the crowd gathers, the excitment mounts, we take turns going to the restroom.

As my friend and I walked into the bathroom, we laughed along with a few others. Like an unpopular amusement park ride, the maze of rope to enter was empty in the uncrowded bathroom. We rushed through it, feeling silly as we twisted and turned around the long maze. On the way out of the bathroom, I laughed again and shook my head because the next few people to come in just walked around the rope.

They walked around the rope. I bet those people would be good at lateral thinking puzzles.

A slice of a Second

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I sit and  look around. I’m still in slow motion, heart racing. I see a woman. She doesn’t seem to have noticed that anything happened. A car drives by, its driver oblivious. My hands are shaking slightly and I pull over, hazards on.

I take a deep breath in, allow my eyes to close for a moment, breathe out.

Before this,

I lived in a slow motion moment. I drove down the street, watchful but relaxed. Listening to Hamilton, almost home. Suddenly, a van cut across the street directly in front of me. (They made the word suddenly specifically for situations like this, I think.) 

I slammed the brake and watched as my car still got closer to the van as the van continued across the street. I braced for impact, eyes squinted. I hoped I wouldn’t hit the van too hard, I pressed the brake. The van kept going, I kept going. Shouldn’t brakes work faster than this? My hands gripped the steering wheel, and I wondered if maybe I would just scrape the back of the van. 

And then it was over. The van went on its merry way, and I watched as cars passed all around me, unconcerned. 

Now safely pulled over, I call Mr. Thought.

“I’m okay,” I start, because I am.

A slice of December

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers


a lot of people are coughing around here
and the dog has some sort of weird dry skin 
vet says it isn't mites

it's December so
you know -

my second grader got short of breath
his inhaler, expired
I called the doctor 

it's December so
you know -

I wasn't going to eat sugar this month
trader joe's had dark chocolate orange candy
seltzer water counts as water, right?

it's December so
you know -

just a few more holiday errands to run
Santa must be exhausted this time of year
does he know about amazon prime?

it's December so
you know.


A Slice of being known

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I probably didn’t know all the way back in 5th grade that Sara would become so important to me. I sat down next to her on the bus, or so the old story goes… and she didn’t know what to do with me. I might have even been wearing my neon tie-dye stirrup pants… with or without the matching t-shirt. (I mean at that point, does it even matter if you have a matching t-shirt?) Our friendship has obviously strengthened from that point… and also, leggings ARE back in style…

We stayed at her house after Thanksgiving, because of course she opened her doors for us when we had to go to the area for a doctor’s appointment for E. As we were leaving, she handed us the a large box — with strict instructions for me to open it on December 1. I knew it must have something to do with my December birthday, so I rolled my eyes at her and said her name in that way that means, “I can’t believe you are so nice, it’s already too much.”

December 1 rolled around, and the kids were quick to remind me that I had a job to do: Open that box!


I’d publish her note here, if it was at all reasonable to do so, because she’s a beautiful friend, a beautiful writer, and a beautiful person. (So, of course I cried.)

And then I turned over my little day 1 circle (“You are kind”) and opened my day 1 present: Harry Potter magnetic page clips. Only a true friend would somehow know me so well.. and each day it has been so fun to turn my circle and open my gift. A travel mug, a notepad, swedish fish, fun binder clips…and lovely affirmations. It’s nice to be known.


This morning I was running late (no big surprise here) and the boys were begging me to open Sara’s gift.

“I have to pack my lunch,” I explained. “We will open it after school.”

But, they begged, pleaded, and carried the board and the gift over to the counter.

“Fine. But, I’m doing this instead of having a lunch today!” I told them with a little loving snarl in my voice.

And then I turned over the circle. “You put others before yourself.”


And then we all laughed as I said, “See? Sara knows it!”

It’s nice to be known.


A slice of not nice

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I’m not always nice.
I think maybe I used to be nicer.

There’s this lady down the street
She has a “Love everyone” sign in her yard
But she was so mean to my baby last year.
and when I see her around, I yell at her
in my head
“Love everyone? What about a little kid trying to make his way in this world?”
But on my face, I smile.
Yesterday I saw her running by me in the park
and I’m waiting for my reward since
I did not stick out my foot
and trip her.

I’m not always nice.
I think maybe I used to be nicer.

I went on a walk with my puppy
who pulls and tugs, tail wagging to greet
and when a young college student grimaced and hid in her boyfriend’s arms,
I raised my eyebrows and said,
“He’s just a baby”
In a sarcastic, condescending tone –
Even though I totally get why she was worried

Yikes! It’s the cutest thing ever! 

I’m not always nice.
I think maybe I used to be nicer.

A slice of failure

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

What if it’s not enough?
What if you have books in your house, you read to your babies,
you read to yourself, you read to your students,
you read about reading,
and what if it’s not enough?
What if you’ve failed this part?

What if you don’t find the right book for your kid?
What if they don’t fall in love with stories?
What if they don’t want to live a thousand lives by reading?
What if you are tired of saying “yet” because maybe yet won’t come?
Maybe your child isn’t a reader “yet” but maybe it’s really “ever?”
What if you’ve failed this part?

What if you’ve overdone it with the “I love reading!
Reading is awesome!” shouted from the mountain tops?
What if you’ve missed your chance, the reading boat has sailed on?
What if you’ve failed this part?

What if? What if you’ve failed?
Should you throw in the towel? Hope someone else picks it up?
Someone more inspiring, less momish?
Should you stop trying strategies?
Should you stop timing, book-talking, pretending you don’t care?
Should you stop buying books, reading books?
I mean, what if it’s over?
What if you’ve failed this part?
What if your child just isn’t a reader?

A slice of who I am

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I’m laughing because somehow I’ve ended the evening standing in my parents’ kitchen holding a sword, a bow and a skeleton goblet. I hand my mom the phone, “Take a picture!”

It’s just so different from the rest of my day. I think.



Earlier today, I discussed strategies for helping teachers raise the Depth of Knowledge in their learning experiences. Now, the most complex problem solving I need to engage in is how to get my kids home and to bed without them eating any more candy.

Earlier today, I presented a session on  academic discourse to a room of Instructional Coaches, Mentors, and Administrators. Tonight, I debated with my friend about the color of my sweatshirt. (It’s orange, not red. Trust me. That’s why I wore it on Halloween!) Later tonight, my discourse will involve a lot of counting down to zero and sternly negotiating with children about teeth brushing, face washing, and going to bed.

It’s strange, this double life of a working parent. When I was going about my day today, in my professional conference attire, I didn’t think that the representational slice of my day would be this picture. But somehow this tired mom, in an orange(!) sweatshirt and fuzzy hat — holding an assortment of Halloween sundries — this is the truest slice of who I am.


A slice of not writing

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

Some things I did instead of writing this evening
washed the dishes
yelled at my kids to help with the dishes
checked facebook
prepared the make-your-own pizza supplies
made pizzas with the kids
cleaned up dinner
washed more dishes (what?!?)
played hide-and-go-seek with the dog
covered his eyes, told him “no peeking!” while my daughter hid
hid while my daughter told the dog “no peeking!”
decided to call that game “no peeking!”
snuggled with the dog
laughed at the dog
discussed random things with Mr. Thought
remembered to sponsor my kids’ fundraiser since it’s due tomorrow
listened to kids play some sort of made up board game upstairs
told kids to brush their teeth
told kids to brush their teeth
told kids to brush their teeth
(you get the picture)
sat with H while he fell asleep
snuggled E to sleep
fell asleep
woke up from the dog going crazy barking at the cat’s meow
the actual cat’s meow
tucked L in
read a few chapters
ate a few junior mints
drank my water
sent a few emails
refilled my water