Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

Today, April 7th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Laughter spilled upward from the basement.  Like the scent of fresh cut flowers, it rose softly, filling the kitchen where I now stood.  “They seem happy,” I said, looking over at my wife.  “Don’t they?”

The sun had now worked its way across and now downward, gently marking the end of another day of shelter-in-place.  Today had held its fair share of challenges – tears shed over online math tests, tempers tested as three young children competed for the attention of two working adults.  These days can feel hard, I thought to myself.

I shook the water from my hands into the sink, now devoid of dirty dishes, and reached for my glass of white wine.  The laughing emanating from below had now turned to singing.  Imaginations had been turned up to high, I could tell, as the voices of three young sisters swirled and blended below.

I’m not sure how many days have now passed since COVID-19 has forced us, and all families, to spend literally every waking and sleeping hour together. Maybe three weeks, perhaps? But the precious music floating up the stairs and into the kitchen, and the wine in my hand, reminded me of all we have to be grateful for.  Yes, social gatherings have come to a halt.  No, we have not enjoyed time with friends or family in person for awhile.  But stories of cruelty on the school bus and teasing in classrooms have also halted.  And as spring has arrived, imaginary play between sisters is in full bloom.

I watched as my wife took a sip of her wine.  “Yes,” she said, “they do seem happy.”

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, twowritingteachers.org.

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge”

  1. Time with those we share a home is something to be grateful for. I feel like I am being given a chance for my family to know each other as adults. Once they are 18 and 20, the time together is typically fleeting. Now we eat several meals together, have weekly nature outings and are streaming a show as a family. I think this will change our relationships. I am grateful AND I can’t wait for them to get back to their lives. But yes, they do seem happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your close – powerful! I also liked your reflection on what we may not be experiencing. I am greatly missing my three goddaughters (they are sisters) right now. This piece reminded me of them. Thanks for sharing the music of this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a simple moment shared between sisters and observed by the parents. I love how your piece compared your girls’ happiness to flowers in full bloom. What a beautiful image. And yes, while we are spending so much time together as a family unit, we can almost feel like we can shut out all of the negative from the outside world. May you have many more blissful moments together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your descriptions of your daughters and their happiness are uplifting. We are “forced” into this togetherness, but happiness reigns anyway. It’s all about love (and white wine doesn’t hurt either).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is beautiful and reflective. Counting blessings is definitely a way I cope. These glass-half-full lines should be savored like your wine- “But stories of cruelty on the school bus and teasing in classrooms have also halted. And as spring has arrived, imaginary play between sisters is in full bloom.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lanny, I agree with all that the above commenters have said. I especially like how your Slice is really just 2 lines of dialogue. Then you zoomed in between, offering the backstory and your reflections. This is a great mentor text to show to a student who only writes a few lines. Thanks for sharing. “Cheers,” from my house in VA.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very precious and so powerful, thanks for capturing this end of day moment and sharing it with us. Maybe kids’ imaginations will get a huge boost out of this stay at home time, certainly seems so in your family!

    Liked by 1 person

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