Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 29

Today, March 29th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

A little sanitizer now slathered on my hands, I rubbed vigorously, then carefully removed my shoes and hung up my coat.  An unexpected trip to the bank to replace a hacked debit card had forced me out of the house, and now, having completed the reentry process- removing rubber gloves, Lysol spraying the new debit card, sanitizing hands – I was ready to join my family, safely in the house again.

Suddenly, I heard the voice of my four-year-old from within the house, “Daddy?! Are you home?”

“Yes, honey, I’m back home,” I responded casually.  “How are you?”

Then, “We have friends here!”

Wait, what did she just say?

With the shelter-at-home order still firmly  in place in Connecticut, I knew no one should be in the house.  Who could possibly be here? I wondered.  Slightly unnerved, I cautiously proceeded through my wife’s studio-office toward the main living space.  Before this time, the words ‘friends are here’ would have stoked a joyful curiosity.  Interesting how not it created a silent panic, a fear now familiar to all living through this period.

Then, turning the corner, there she stood. “See?” she said, greeting me with a huge, impish smile.  “Friends are here!”  In her delicate, little hands, my daughter held up her brightly-colored, plastic toy laptop- the one that counts and sings nursery rhymes.  She held the “laptop” to face me, so that I would look at the nine-paneled display (that lights up to the rhythm). My daughter then shifted her gaze from me to the toy screen. Clearly, she was indicating that we were on a zoom call using her device.

“See?” she repeated. “Friends are here!”

“That’s great, honey,” I said, relaxing.  “It’s always so great when we can visit friends, isn’t it?”

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,

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 29”

  1. Yes, we’re living in a different world of relating and connecting for sure. Somewhat dystopian, actually. And the hard thing is that the longer people DON’t do it , the longer we’re going to HAVE to. Sigh.

    Great capturing of the moment with your daughter. The details made it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A slice that captures so many of the ways life have changed in the last few weeks. Isn’t it amazing how the little ones pick up on so much. Rose, my almost three year old, now tells us that she has to do math on the iPad… because she sees her sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lanny, life is certainly different as evidenced by the routine you went through to enter your house. I have been wondering lately if we will continue to follow safety measures when the virus is no longer a threat. For now we continue to live in a world of long-distance calls and seeing friends from a tiny box.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wanted to get to the end to see who the friends were and yes, Zoom is our way to connect now, across all ages it seems. But I have to say, I laughed at your entering the house routine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These new rituals … it’s almost incomprehensible. Reminiscent of nuclear radiation -! How we’ve changed in so short a time (although it seems long). Our children have the amazing gift of Zoom and FaceTime , etc. … in our childhood it would have been a vastly different story. At age ten or so, I read in my family’s Reader’s Digest that one day we’d have the ability to see each other on the phone as we talk. I thought that was something straight out of science fiction. Yet here with are with so much more than that … truth being stranger than fiction …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the comparison to nuclear radiation is an apt and interesting one. I’m not sure I did a good enough job in my post to show that there weren’t any friends on her “screen.” It was all imaginary. Did that come through?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does. “Play laptop” and “toy.” And being four. Yet she’s imitating what she sees and understands how the real stuff works, that it’s how we’re communicating now. Imaginary friends are no less important. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I felt the tension as you took so many measures to disinfect and heard that a friend had been invited in. Crazy how quickly we’ve all adapted to this strange new reality, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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