A Slice of Life

Archive for April, 2013

She Can Do It

My Own Slice of Life on “I Can Do It”

My daughter has moved into a stage in her life where she believes that she can do it and by “it” she means everything and anything. She can put on her own shoes. She can take off her own socks. She can brush her own teeth. She can put lotion on all by herself. She can feed her brother a bottle. She can put her silverware in the sink. My favorite part of her telling me that she can do it is her enormous grin, sparkling eyes, and head bobbing up and down reassuring me that she is up for the task.

My brother-in-law gave her a balloon the other day. This balloon has a very short string. I knew it would happen. My husband knew it would happen. And it happened. That balloon string slipped right out of her hand and floated up to the ceiling. Not in her bedroom where I could stand on her bed and pull it down and not in the family room where I could stand on the couch and grab the string. Instead, she accidentally let go in the living room and the balloon drifted up to the highest point of the vaulted ceiling.

Each day we wait for the balloon to make its way back down to us. When we come home at the end of the work day, she runs up the stairs to check to see if her balloon is still there. And every day she smiles her biggest smile which causes her beautiful blue eyes to sparkle and she nods her head and says to me “I can do it.” She means that she can get her balloon down. She holds my hand and pulls me towards the scene. We both gaze up at the ceiling and she again reassures me that she can retrieve that balloon.

I’ve tried showing her that I can’t reach it, her dad can’t reach it, if I stand on a chair I can’t reach it, when I stand on a step stool I can’t reach it but she is convinced that if she just stands on the chair long enough she will be able to reach the balloon.

After spending lots of time as a spotter while she stands on a chair and stretches and reaches, the balloon is still up there. “Maybe tomorrow,” she tells me. I’m pretty sure that tomorrow she will smile, nod, and stand on the chair again.

My husband is ready to start throwing darts. I’m a little tired of this balloon situation too. But that face! That confidence! “I can do it.” That voice! I can’t burst her bubble or pop her balloon. I feel kind of proud of her. It’s silly. I know. But I’m just proud that she is confident and proud of herself. It means more to me than her understanding that her short arms will never reach that high. She has drive and ambition. It is part of who she is. She seems to have set her sights even higher. She will obtain the unobtainable. I’m confident that she will.

How Does It End?

My Own Slice of Life on Slicing

My final slice. I have mixed feelings. Relief, a sense of accomplishment, and almost sadness at the same time. What will I do with my notepad app (a.k.a. writer’s notebook app) on my phone now? How will we adjust our children’s bedtime routines back to a time before mommy was slicing? What will I think about all day long and what ideas will come to me as I sit before a blank computer screen? What if I have a great idea for a slice but no more audience? No more feedback? No more comments?

This past month I have sliced big and sliced small. I have flashed back to favorite times in my childhood and written about snippets of time that happen during the hecticness in my current everyday life. I have received feedback. I have been encouraged by other writers. Family members and friends followed my blog and I received text messages, phone calls, and e-mails daily. Some slices made my mom cry. Some slices were called captivating. At one point, my uncle even told me that my writing “had fallen off a bit.” Some slices made my husband laugh. Some slices frustrated me. Some slices felt good to publish while others did not. Some slices came to me in the middle of the night while others came to me in an instant when something simple happened like sharing a cookie with my daughter.

I worried about writing too much about my kids? I began to think about my own students and how at times it can be difficult to get fourth grade boys to write about something other than video games. We tell our students to write about what they are passionate about. We read mentor texts and explain how the author wrote about what she knew best, incorporated her own life and her own passions and we should do the same. Fourth grade boys are passionate about video games, they know a lot about video games, and at this point in their lives they play video games on a regular basis so they like to write about video games. I, on the other hand, am passionate about my kids. It was challenging for me to sit down and not write about them every single day. I had to make a real effort to write about something else because there are other things to write about. I must convey this message to my class.

This past month, I checked my phone for e-mails from WordPress on a regular basis. After a 2:00 a.m. wake up call from my daughter, I crawled back in my bed with my phone and scrolled through the e-mails to read the comments on my latest slice. I think my husband thought I was addicted to slicing. I think I might have been.

March was a time of writing. A time for blogging and reading other’s writing. A time for being part of a writing community. A time of being unguarded and writing personally, writing openly, trying different writing styles, writing warmly, affectionately, with emotion, from the heart, to get better, for a purpose, because I can, because I want to, because I AM A WRITER.

Looking forward to April, I plan to slice again. I am going to write whenever I feel compelled to do so. I’ve decided I will keep my blog going. So how does it end? It just doesn’t. There is more to be told.

 

 

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