Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 19 #sol19

“No, Papa, I don’t want to go.  It’s going to be cold.”  Looking over my oldest daughter’s shoulder through the sliding glass door behind her, I watched as sunlight beamed over a still somewhat snowy ground outside.

“Oh come on, honey,” I gently rebuffed.  “It’s a beautiful day!  It’s almost spring, and besides you’ll end up having fun. Don’t worry!”  I chirped.

About a mile from our house is a boardwalk built around the edge of a small body of water.  Earlier that morning, while brainstorming possible activities for the day, my wife and I had decided that it might do everyone some good to take in a little fresh air.  Maybe a walk on the boardwalk would be just the ticket to lift everyone’s spirits?

Arriving at the trailhead optimistically wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers, and my green Red Sox baseball hat, I climbed out of my Honda to help my three daughters out of the car.  As I did so, a frigid gust of wind immediately hit me.   Brrr.  After putting our three year-old in a stroller, all of us started down a half snowy, half muddy trail toward the boardwalk.  Immediately I wished I’d worn my boots.  My oldest reminded me that it was my idea we all wear sneakers.

Closer to the boardwalk, the ground became a virtual ice rink, with all of us straining to maintain our balance.  And the wind.  I felt my cheeks beginning to freeze.  I watched as my oldest daughter, dutifully it seemed, silently trudged forward, looking straight ahead.

Finally we arrived at the boardwalk.  Pushing the stroller up onto the raised path, I thought about the gloves I had left behind.  Frivolously, I tried tucking my hands into my sweatshirt.  I noticed my wife had covered the baby’s head with a sweatshirt, since neither of us had packed a hat for her.  Suddenly, another icy wind bathed all of us in a reminder: it was not yet spring.

By the end of our boardwalk stroll, I could barely feel my fingers, and the ice formations in the water had become far less interesting.  Shoes now muddy and bodies now shivering, my three girls, wife and I finally arrived back at the car.  The baby cried loudly, as I started the engine.  No one spoke on the ride home, as we all listened to my three year-old sob from her carseat.

Walking in the front door, I heard the muttering of my oldest, “No one listens to me.”

I did apologize later.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 19 #sol19”

  1. “Nobody listens to me.” I love it. Good ideas gone bad–I have a million of them, but you know what? Sometimes they provide the indelible memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wisdom from the mouths of babes…we are all imperfect parents, and the wisest of us apologize. I was shivering along with you reading this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The opening of this slice had me intrigued trying to figure out where your daughter didn’t want to go. I like how you went full circle back to her at the ending saying “I told you so.”


  4. Thank you for sharing! I can recall times my own family set out in too cold weather for what we hoped would be a nice stroll. The last line really sticks out to me. It also makes me think of lessons I’ve flopped and how listening to kids and students can be so important.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story. It will be memorable. When your daughters go to college and the family get together for Winter breaks, your oldest daughter will say:”Remember that winter that snowed so much and dad forced us all to go for a walk to the boardwalk and we almost die, and nobody listen to me?

    Liked by 1 person

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