On the Deck, Just E and Me: A slice of life

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

I’m on the deck, just E and me. Our dinner was rushed, and I notice that the chair pillow is indeed wet from the rain a few days ago. It had just needed time to soak into my pants.

But still, I sit there, just taking a minute before clearing the table. I’m just taking a minute.

I look at E’s 8-year old foot, scooched under his butt as he eats a few chips. The bottoms of his toes are barely visible, and the bottom of his foot has a perfect wrinkle.

“This is what I notice?” I think. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I notice, what I’m thinking behind what I’m thinking, what I want to remember.

Yes. This is what I notice. I want to remember this foot, scrunched and wrinkled. I want to remember this foot, bare on a finally hot spring evening.

I get up to clear the table and E asks me, “Why do you look kinda sad, momma?”

“I’m not sad.” I say.

And later I will wonder if I should have taken that teachable moment to talk about being contemplative.

Or, maybe I should have just taken another minute on the deck, just E and me.

 

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It’s Tuesday #inspired

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

It’s Tuesday, it’s quiet in my house, and my computer is charged.

So I search for inspiration…

My 11 year old shared his Tuesday Slice of Life Google Doc with me today. #inspired

It’s snowing in April, I’ve seen hail-like ice fall on the spring flowers today, and my feet are freezing. #inspired

My dog is taking a break from his cone, and he keeps jumping off the couch every time he hears the kittens running around upstairs.  #inspired

I spent time writing in kindergarten this morning, We looked at mystery pictures and 5 year olds tapped their fingers on their chin and said, “Hmmm…I’m going to have to really think about that.” #inspired

I couldn’t ask for more inspiration today, but I don’t know what to write.

Still, I write. Because it’s Tuesday, it’s quiet in the house, and my computer is charged.

Dear Past, Dear Future

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I’m celebrating with Ruth Ayres today! 

 

Dear Past Me,

One day the preschool boy who loves science will absolutely perfect the vegan oatmeal raisin cookie. He will make these while you write (ok, and fall asleep) on the couch, before he makes chocolate chip cookies with his younger brother.

You will still have many messes to clean up in the kitchen, but everyone knows that oatmeal raisin cookies make cleaning up easier.

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Dear Future Me,

There was at least one Sunday where you fell asleep on the couch. Your 11 year old made you vegan cookies, and the dog slept next to you. You decided not to care about the shoes all over, and the dirty dishes that multiply by the minute. Your 8 year old watched Pokemon, and you reminded yourself that it was Sunday (translation: chill out).

There might have been glitter on the kitchen floor, slime supplies piled on the counter and a cone on the dog’s head. . . but there were also cookies, a puppy, and naps.

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With Gratitude and Celebration,

Current Me.

Slice of Life Cup of Sunshine, Cup of Joy.

 

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

It’s raining, of course.

I step out of my car to get my bags, and realize I need to zip my raincoat. So, I put my coffee cup down on the booster seat. I zip up, grab my bags and start walking into school. I turn back  to my car as soon as I realize that I’ve left my coffee, and I know before I get there that it must have fallen and spilled.

Not only did it fall and spill, it actually emptied. I bring the cup into school anyway, so that I can make tea, and I think about how happy I am that this rainy bad morning is a Tuesday. “At least I have a slice,” I think. I look down at my cup and see that I have actually spilled my cup of sunshine on a rainy day. How poetic. 

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Later my allergies will still be acting up, and I’ll notice a rip in my scarf. I’ll wonder if I should write an “Unfortunately/fortunately” poem, and then quickly realize that form needs some “fortunately” to balance it out. No pressure on this cup of tea, or the people I work with this afternoon, but I’m banking on them being that balance.

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#sol18 March 31 Keep On

Slice of LIfe  celebrate-image 

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! I’m also celebrating with Ruth Ayres today! 

March is a celebration of writing for me. Now that it’s over, I need to find a way to keep it still.

I’m in the Wegman’s line (yes, again). The cashier asks me, “Do you want this double bagged?”

“No thanks. Thanks for asking though.”

“Do you want one of your teas left out?”

“No thanks. Thanks for asking though.”

And then she seems to ask, “$39.85?”

I really want to say “No thanks. Thanks for asking though.”

As I walk away, I laugh to myself at this little mini slice of life. It’s the last day of March, so I’m thinking hard about slices and how to hold on to all of this noticing and writing.

Walking to the parking lot, I almost get hit by a car because I assumed they were stopped for me. . Then as I walked down the sidewalk to grab a coffee a young man swung in front of me. I hoped my trajectory was obvious, but he spun around and pulled the door open with a flourish. Only, it was the door to the hair salon.  As I passed him by he looked embarrassed and said, “Well, I guess you aren’t going there.” I opened the coffee shop door wondering if my hair looked like I definitely needed to go to the salon.

I’m already sad about all the slices I’ll miss after today. I’ll try to write slices weekly, but we all know how that goes. I’ll try to jot notes on my phone, but I mostly I won’t. History says I’ll still notices slices. Once you slice every day, it’s hard to stop noticing. But, will I write them? Will I write?

Walking into the shop to grab my coffee, I notice all the people at tables, with open computers. I’m so jealous of what looks to be focused writing. For all I know, they are probably studying and annoyed to not be somewhere else, but still. It is cozy there, with the smell of coffee, the soft chattering of friends, and the clicking of keys.

I hope I can take this habit of writing and tweak it just a little. I have other writing projects I want to finish, some I still need to start. Some have been revised, some need to be revised. I have query letters to write, and I have to figure out who to send them to. If I’m jealous of people sitting in front of open computers on a Saturday afternoon, I think that means I need to write more, not less.  I’ll write. I have to write.

 

#sol18 March 30 Just a couple slices

Slice of LIfe   

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! 

The woman at the Dollar Spot at Target was on her phone, talking about the price of the bag of Easter Eggs. I wasn’t really paying attention until she said. “Wait. Are you talking plastic eggs or real eggs? Oh. I was talking plastic eggs.”

And I had to jot it down on my phone notes, because that’s a slice of life.

I picked the shortest line at Wegmans to buy my handful of items. The woman in front of me was all rung up, but then I noticed she was patting down her purse, her pockets, her purse again. I was slowly starting to pay attention as she said, ” I must have left my card at Target. Can you suspend that sale?” As the cashier put on her flashing light and called a manager over to help, I looked at the total. $9.76. I wondered if I should just pay her bill to speed things up.

Instead, I jotted it down on my phone notes, because that’s a slice of life.

At home, L and I hung out with the kittens until, be still my beating heart, she asked me if I wanted to go downstairs and do some bullet journal sketches with her. Soon the dining room table was full of markers and pens. We sketched banners and stick people, and cactus planters. Because, why not? It’s fun even though her sketches are so much better than mine!

I didn’t get my phone out, so I just repeated the phrase in my head. “Want to go down and do some bullet journal sketching with me?” because that’s a slice of life.

 

#sol18 March 29 A slice of time

Slice of LIfe   

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! 

Time. Remember time? I used to clean the kitchen after my babies were asleep for the night. I’d pick projects to do, or shows to watch, or both!

I noticed today, once again, that my kitchen is always a mess. Someone mentioned to me that they are out like a light around 8:30 every night because they are so tired. Hours later, I was still reflecting on my internal reaction to this proclamation. I had blamed my children, albeit in my head, for my never going to bed on time. But, honestly, I’ve never been able to go to bed on time.

Time. Remember time? I used to sit on my bedroom floor and listen to cassette tapes over and over again, until I had the lyrics memorized. “Tropical the island breeze/ All of nature wild and free/ This is where I long to be/ La isla bonita. . . “

When I plug my phone in my car, my music starts playing alphabetically. This drives me crazy, but sometimes I don’t take the time to skip through, or put it on shuffle, or pick an actual album I’d like to listen to from my library. I love my Hamilton, but I’ve listened to Aaron Burr, Sir a few too many times. (And then yes, The Adams Administration…and then, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that the next “song” is always Air Conditioner – Loopable with no fade.) 

Time. Remember time? I used to get bored. I’d sit in my room, bored.

I read today that phones are a distraction even when they are off. When I’m waiting for something, I pick up my phone. Sometimes I read my book on my kindle app, sometimes I check facebook, sometimes I write an email. The time is gone in a jiffy. I am not bored.

Time. Remember time? I used to sit and think, or get into bed and dream up stories and plans. Sometimes it took over an hour for me to fall asleep!

Tonight, I tucked in all three kids, and fell asleep twice. I’ve gone to bed 2 times already tonight, and I haven’t thought one dream, one story or one plan.

Time. Remember time?

#sol18 March 27 The dog is crying

Slice of LIfe   

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! 

the dog is crying
in his crate
even though he's been sleeping in a crate
up until 6 weeks ago
when susie died 

the dog is crying 
in his crate
even though we moved it to the room he loves
because we didn't want him 
to be lonely

the dog is crying 
in his crate
even though I could really use a moment of peace
a moment that isn't a reminder
that I can't keep everyone happy

the dog is crying
in his crate
even though I gave him lots of love and a treat
as if to remind me,
"You didn't let your human babies cry it out."

#sol18 March 26 A slice of Someday Maybe

Slice of LIfe   

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! 

Someday you might be the mom racing into school right on time. Maybe your kids will drag their feet,  maybe it will be you. Maybe a combination. Maybe nobody will listen the first few times you say it’s time to pack their lunches, get their shoes, put away the iPad they aren’t even supposed to have out in the morning… Maybe nobody will listen the fifth time you say it either. Maybe nobody will ever listen to you again.

Someday you might be the mom who uses your lunch break to walk the dog, make some popcorn for lunch, and stuff your kids’ karate things into bags before heading back to school. Maybe popcorn for lunch will seem normal to you.

Someday you might be the mom racing out of school, 8 year old racing along with you. Maybe you’ll have to pick up your 9th grader and somehow get to your 11 year old’s volleyball tournament at the high school. Maybe it will be next to impossible for you to park. Maybe you’ll be stuck behind buses, have to turn around on a side street, and then be stuck behind more buses. Maybe you’ll park just as a high school student gets to his car. Maybe he’ll open his doors, blocking your daughter in her seat. Maybe you’ll have to smile and ask him to move.

Someday you might be the mom getting your kids to karate half an hour late. Maybe the volleyball tournament went a little longer than you had planned for. Maybe your kids were starving after that so you had to stop for a quick snack. Maybe little containers of apples and pretzels will be the healthiest thing you can get them. Maybe your kids will bicker in the car, and beg to not have to even go to Karate because they are tired, sick, late anyway. Maybe you’ll drink too much seltzer water, maybe you’ll find a parking space, maybe you won’t.

Someday you might be the mom stopping by your own parents’ house after the first karate class. Maybe you’ll have your youngest with you. Maybe you’ll let him use your phone to play a game. Maybe when you mom says, “What can I get you?” You’ll say “What are you offering?” Maybe you’ll eat her homemade vegan chili without feeling guilty. Maybe you’ll have a secret wish that your parents had a homemade soup delivery service.

Someday you might be the mom who fails the early bedtime almost every night. Maybe you’ll be the mom who snuggles each kid, plus the dog, and then the kittens. Maybe you’ll stick to your no snacks after the kids go to bed, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll catch up on your work when the house is quiet, maybe you’ll finish your dystopian book. Maybe you’ll go to bed on time, or maybe you’ll play with the kittens first.

Who knows!