Share your Slice of Life Story today at Two Writing Teachers

Share your Slice of Life Story today at Two Writing Teachers

Maddie,” I asked, “what do you think is the most important thing to Mommy?”

You see, I purchased this book some time ago.  There is a question for every day of the year, along with space to record your child’s answers.  We usually pull out the ‘question book’ right before dinner.  Maddie and Katie’s answers have surprised us, made us laugh, and led to some very interesting dinnertime conversations.

I expected Maddie’s answer to this provocative question to be any number of things: reading, choosing kind, her and Katie, Daddy, getting my work done.  Any of those answers would have been an accurate reflection of the mother I hope to be.  But none of those were Maddie’s answer.

“Being on time for work,” Maddie replied in a matter-of-fact tone.

Being on time for work?  What?  Why would she think that?

Why wouldn’t she think that?  Every morning, I rush her.  I hurry her.  I tell her we have to go.  I yell… sometimes.  I lose my patience… always.  I tap my foot.  I sigh in exasperation.  I steal her independence because it is quicker if I just do it for her.  Put these socks on, let me zip up your coat, I have your back pack, let’s go.   Hurry, hurry, hurry.  I say it over and over and over – we have to go.  Is there any other time in our day when I am so animated, so passionate?

Oh, Maddie, Mommy is sorry and will try to do better.  The most important thing to me is us.  Always us.



19 thoughts on “Us

  1. It’s always enlightening when we listen to the small comments from our children and life is such a balance. Us is the most important and I often wish it was easier than it might be some days. Thanks for sharing this reminder.

  2. Amazing! When we have the courage to ask, what answers we get. So interesting what sticks with our little ones and what is really in our hearts. Love this and don’t beat yourself up about this. Being on time is a good thing too. 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness, she probably was just remembering wanting to go slower that morning. You never know what children are going to blurt out. I can tell from reading your posts that your family is your primary concern. And I agree with Julieanne, learning to be on time is good.

  4. Ack- mother guilt is so strong! I find myself even now, when my sons are 24 and 22, hoping that I have been and still am a good mother for them. Do not beat yourself up for this comment- thanks for sharing a slice of humanity with us!

  5. Dana, wasn’t your last post about sharing treasured morning moments with your girls? I find that the love you have for your children always shines through in your writing and I’m sure it’s a warm presence in your daily life as well. While I agree it’s important to reflect on Maddie’s response and on unintended messages, I also think you should bear in mind that kids may respond with the most recent memory or just quirkily. I remember the summer we traveled to Oregon, Washington and California, along with the usual summer fun of cookouts, visiting friends and relatives, going to the beach, etc. etc. and when my daughter’s teacher asked about her summer, she said, ‘Well, we went grocery shopping a lot.” Ugh. I’m going to ask my class this question today and may ask my own children when they get back from college.

  6. We aren’t always aware of the signals we send our children and what they pick up from watching us. Sometimes what they say just stops us in our tracks. From following your slices it is obvious that there is nothing more important to you than your family. I believe that your girls know this as well.

  7. I always say “Crap, I hate that truth.” 🙂 My kids tell me one of the things they will remember about their childhood is how much I yell. Ugh. Not what I had hoped for. But with that yelling or hurrying comes love and kindness and respect and reading and joy. Don’t forget that part too. 🙂

  8. Good question. I know your daughter’s answer startled you but at the same time it was an invitation for a conversation. You were able to say what really matters to you.

  9. Dana-I’m trying to get back into the world of slicing and your post is the first one I read.

    From the title, down to the last lines…you are a brilliant writer! I can just imagine you on the other end writing this. I see that torn heart, those tears…I’m over here feeling it, tears welling up.

    I agree with several prior comments, she is just remembering something recent, but I know you, and that is not enough. And because that is not enough, is why you are such an amazing mother. I know you will make even just a slight change, your tone, waking up earlier, whatever it takes you will do it.

    Never beat yourself up; you make time, you ask questions, you listen, you reflect, you make changes.

    That is the kind of mother I want to be.

  10. Dana, I think we are all part of the rush, rush syndrome. Working moms have to be on time and so do children but I also think that slowing down is important. I have to work on that and not get hung up in the fast-paced world.

  11. Oh this broke my heart a bit for you. I agree with the person who said that the love you have for your girls always shines through each post you write. It is so hard to be a working mom and to get out in the morning with little ones. I think sometimes our kids might just take our love for granted- so even though your girls didn’t say that the most important thing to you is them, they just know it deep inside. They also know it’s important to you to be on time! 🙂

  12. Oh – here too. I just told my husband yesterday how I can’t stand how every morning I’m so sharp and short with the kids about how I have to go, how I’m late, etc. etc. etc. His response was that I should see what happens if I just don’t say it… Maybe I’ll actually be more on time and calmer… I’m going to try tomorrow… if I remember!

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