Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday slice: I didn't intend to write...

I sit here tonight
trying to count
grains of sand
blades of grass
clusters of stars
All equally hard
to gather
to quantify
to order in a way
that is meaningful

Like the way that
she went to bed smiling
but didn't wake up
with the sun
Like the way that
my friend went to bed smiling
but got the call at school
Like the way that
(I'm guessing)
she bent over
first silently
then with a
to drown
stack of years
she will spend
missing her mom

I sit here tonight
intending to think about
phonics instruction
small group instruction
assessment technology
All equally hard
to gather
to quantify
to order in a way
that is meaningful
right now
that makes much sense

Write on,

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

31: Kiss it...

Yesterday, at Grandma's,
the cousins ran willy-nilly
around the
living room-kitchen-family room-foyer
They shrieked and then laughed
shrieked and then laughed
Grant's little steps took him
just a smidgeon right of the loop and
he met the kitchen desk's
bossy corner
I saw the head-on collision
yet I could barely focus in for a closer look
at my shocked little guy
quiet on the kitchen floor
The top point had bullied his eye brow
the bottom edge had pressed into his
supple cheek
two instant purplish signatures
and a growing goose-egg
he started crying after what seemed like an eternity
"Mommy, kiss it.  Kiss it."

Today, at home,
the little rode the play firetruck
with reckless abandon
and when that grew old
he transitioned into
pushing the Fisher-Price school bus
like a cheetah chasing prey
He powered down the foyer hallway
(its wood floor is fast)
and then hung a right into the carpeted dining room
What he didn't plan for was the new roadblock
-- me --
kneeling beside the buffet
He saw the head-on collision
this time before I did
the bus, my tender right knee
{an imagined YOOOOOOOWWWWWW, followed by a gasp}
"Grant, the bus hurt my knee.  Can you tell Mommy 'sorry'?"

"Mommy, I kiss it.  I make it all better.  The bus make it better.  See?"

{Be still, my heart.}

The power of a kiss...

Write on,

Post-script:  Today marks the end of 2015's March Slice of Life Story Challenge...and while some stories have been big, and some stories have been silly, your comments have kissed their words and made them better.  I appreciate the way you've invested in my writing life this month, dear Reader. From you I've learned, I've laughed, and I've grown.  May we meet back on Tuesdays, maybe even Saturdays, but definitely every March.  Until then...

Monday, March 30, 2015

30: The one and only...

Her wispy, sable curls
sometimes cover her chocolate eyes
She wipes them away
with emphasis
and moves along to find the next
She always does this
like during dinner or
in the car or
at a ballgame or
when she wants more orange juice
in her girly-colored sippy cup
with a straw

Tonight, she picked me to target
Her newly three-year-old self
strides in and catches me
kneeling beside the giant tub
in Grandpa and Grandma's bathroom
as the smaller little 'swims'
She finds a spot to perch
surveying the situation
I know she's up to something
She always is

Me: Do you want to take a bath, too, Emmie?  You can hop in. There's plenty of room.

Emmie: Well, it's not up to me.

Me: What do you mean?

Emmie: 'Is he your kid?' she points at the little's tiny ear half-covered by white-blonde curls.

Me: Yes, he's my kid.

Emmie: I have a booster seat.  Wanna see it?

Me: Hop in the tub.  Taking a bath now will help Mommy and Daddy.

Emmie: But I don't want to get clean.

Me: You can play, though, and that's fun.  Here are some cups.

(She undresses, first tentatively, and then climbs into the tub like the whole exercise was her idea.)

Emmie: But I don't want to wash my hair.  Grandmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.  Grandma has to take me a bath.

(We wait, with baited breath, for Grandma's swift arrival.)

Me: Emmie wants you to 'take her a bath.'  I hear you are the best at baths.

Emmie: Grandmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.  I don't want to take a bath.

Grandma: But you already are, Emmie.  And taking a bath is a good thing.  

(Emmie's mom and baby sister open the pocket door and slide into the bathroom too.)

Emmie's mom: Emmie, you're taking a bath!

Emmie: No, I'm not.  I don't want to take a bath.

(Sheesh.  Girl, you're in the tub.  Quit.)

Emmie: But I won't wash my hair.

Emmie's mom: Yes, you will -- that way you won't have to wash it tomorrow night.

Grandma: Let's play beauty shop!  Here's the special shampoo...  

Emmie: But I won't get it wet...

Me: Alright, little guy -- let's hop out and dry off.

Emmie: But I don't want to get out...

And so it goes
just as it always does
with the one and only

Write on,

Sunday, March 29, 2015

29: This blank page...

everything that was
and could
escapes me 
now as I sit down to 
go back to
my favorite topics
stories I'd like to tell
people I love
places I've been
this blank page
and the 
to try again tomorrow

Write on,

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

27: The running joke...

My friend and I have this running joke
it pops up anytime someone asks,
"So, how do you know each other?"

She usually starts with something like,
"Well, she came to my house trick-or-treating the night before her second son was born.  We were both big and pregnant with our little guys.  And it was warm that night, so we both had pancake feet." She qualifies, "You looked cute in your little jeans and ballet flats; I, on the other hand..."

And rolls into,
"And then when we talked a little more the next summer when we were out for a walk in the neighborhood, she was trying to figure out which house I live in on our street...so I told her..." She reminds, "I wanted to meet you again, so we took walks until you and your boys were outside playing."

And ends with,
"Yeah, then she said, 'Oh, I know where you live.  I drove by a few days ago in the afternoon and saw a little girl standing naked on the living room windowsill.'"

She always blushes,
"I was mortified the day you told me that, B.  Like, who lets their kids stand in front of the biggest window in the house with no clothes on?  I looked like such a bad mom!"

I always laugh, too.
"Who cares?  It was so funny!  And I thought nothing of it.  I mean, little kids are little kids, right?"


One afternoon this week, the winds were just warm enough and the sun was just shiny enough to beckon kids and their parents outside for an after-school playdate. Driving home from school, I slowed down to say, "Hi" as she and her littles spread out from the sidewalk and into the grass.

"B, did you see Clark?!?"

I hadn't.  My eyes scanned the greening lawns...


On tiny, little toddler legs, Clark cleared each blade of grass with big-boy underwear draping from his smallish rear-end.  Over the top fell an even smaller t-shirt.

I doubled over my steering wheel, laughing.

Evidently, that theory holds true.

Write on,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

26: The last Saturday afternoon date...

We bundled up as the golden leaves blew
across the front yard and into the drive
I knew I should go
as if my heart foretold the end
that Saturday afternoon
Grant nestled in the carseat
and I in the front
We headed north, toward the place
that's one stop closer to heaven
In the parking lot I unhooked his latches
he wiggled out and into my arms
The wind still blew
and the leaves still danced majestic in the autumn sky
and the tears still formed
and then falling
and then stopping
the brave face
I put on to go through the
first set of double doors past the nurses
and then the next set into her wing
and finally the single door into her room
that opened like a treasure trove
full of the people I love
all sitting there
all waiting
for the next breath
in the center
Grandma laying
her cornflower eyes hidden
her crown of soft, white curls
danced as she gasped toward
her next breath
I looked in
my heart
buoyed only in knowing
soon she'd find
the bright space,
the perfect place,
her Savior
my grandpa
her mother
her father
her brother
her sisters

I shared Grant and padded in toward the bedside seat
I held her familiar hand and
I nuzzled her wrinkly cheek
Grandma, I love you
years of memories rolled across my heart
as I sat
at the thought of heaven
tearing up
at the thought of this world without her
that my boys would never truly know
the woman
who steadied my slippery baby body
in my parents' kitchen sink that first bath
who lavishly loved her family
who chose to laugh in all circumstances
with determination and moxie
a woman
after whom my heart is fashioned

We bundled up as the golden leaves blew
majestic against the blue sky outside her window
I couldn't stay
yet I lingered
knowing this would be
the last Saturday afternoon date
We held hands
three generations

I kissed her forehead
I'll see you there...

Write on,