Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 26 #sol19

The doors of the grocery store slide open in front of us.  Since our list holds very items, I grab one of the smaller carts. Not the large, oversized cart…we wouldn’t need that one until later in the week.  “I can push it,” comes the voice of my nine year-old.  “Okay, honey,” I say, letting her take control of the cart.

Inside now, she takes the lead, pushing the cart forward, then to the right toward the well-arranged section of bananas and oranges.  She’d wanted to come with me tonight, alone. Just her.  At home, the seven year-old had protested; she wanted to come, too, she said.  But the long expression and pleading eyes of my oldest had made the argument final: this trip would just be us.  Once inside the car she’d even said it out loud, “I wanted this to be time for just us, Papa.”

I watch her now as she expertly maneuvers the little grocery cart around various displays.  Wow, she’s gotten taller, I think to myself.  Her hair swishing at the middle of her back, I notice and silently measure where the top of her head now reaches on me.  It seems higher. She seems…well, older.

And suddenly I am transported back to Portland, Oregon, in the house where she was born.  She’s only a few minutes old, a precious bundle swaddled in a blanket.  She only weighs around nine pounds.  I hold her in my arms, so fragile and innocent, gazing at this wondrous child newly in the world. Now images of soft light on her newborn face suddenly flash into my mind, as I remember the Native American music my wife had requested playing quietly in the background.

Where did almost ten years go? I wonder.  Where did they go?

“Do we need peppers?” she asks.  She’s turning around, looking at me now.  I hug her quickly, for no reason.  Well, for a reason.

“Yes,” I answer.  “Let’s grab a couple.”

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 23 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 and reading consultant in Northwestern 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 co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 26 #sol19”

  1. What a lovely slice highlighting those precious moments of parenthood when we look at our children and reflect on how much they have grown! It reminds me of how important it is to be present with our children. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Time passes quickly, doesn’t it? I had a similar realization while grocery shopping with Isabelle who is eight.

    These small moments can mean so much to us when we take the time to stand back and notice the grandeur of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a wise 9-year-old who asserts her wishes for alone time with Papa. And it’s a wise Papa who recognizes that wish. I can imagine her hair swinging and your noticing how she’s grown. I still see the infant face in my 48-year-old daughter! We parents always will.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your slice and all the comments are so true. I was moved by your now and then time spent with your daughter. I love the way she asserts her needs and wishes of having a special every day moment with you. Today is my daughter´s birthday and the question where did the years go? is not only asked by me but also by my own 23 year old daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you hugged her for “no reason” right in teh middle of the produce aisle. Time does have a way of surprising us. My kids are 37 and 33, and I still feel wonder and awe when I see what they are doing with their adult lives and families. Savor those precious moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really liked how you used the flashback of when your daughter was born and how those specific memories still feel recent. It is remarkable how quickly time passes and it’s lovely how much you appreciated this trip to the store.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your post brought tears to my eyes as I think about my now 15, 14, and 11 year olds and wonder where did the time go. And then I think to ME being the kid and wonder why did the years I had with my dad pass so quickly also without realizing it. Thank you for this heartfelt post that touched me as a mom and a daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

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