Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Slice of Life-Celebrating What Really Matters

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

I normally have a good sense of what I will write about on Tuesdays, and this morning, I had a strong sense of how my post would go. I had a wonderful time teaching poetry to fifth-grade students during their outdoor education program. However, a phone call just as I was leaving for work changed the focus of my week's slice. I was running a little late-- Cecily wanted braids in her hair, Clare had forgotten to get everything off the floor for the cleaning lady, the dog kept spitting out his pills despite some tasty pill pockets, and I needed something for lunch. Then the phone rang. 

“Someone hit me,” Clare said. 

My stomach dropped, then lurched, and my legs went bloodless. 

“Are you okay?" I said, trying to react calmly to the words no parent wants to hear. "Where are you?”

She told me where she was, and I could hear her voice thicken. “It wasn’t my fault,” she said.

“I’ll be right there.” I left. And I left the dog's pills on the counter, my bag on the floor, and my apple and water on the table.

As I drove toward the high school, I realized that I really didn’t know the extent of what happened. I only knew about where she was.I drove along envisioning all sorts of scenarios. When I saw the police car on the side of the road, I breathed. Clare was also there. She was fine--trying hard to clean her car because red smoothie had gone everywhere when she was rear-ended. She started to cry when I hugged her, and I worked hard to keep my composure. The car needs a new bumper and hatchback, but that's okay. My daughter was able to get out of the car and call me. 

The officer let her leave the scene, and she finished her drive to school. Once she left, the man, an older man who didn't speak English well, kept repeating how sorry he was. 

"It's okay," I kept saying. "She's okay, and it's just a car."

He started to cry, and then I almost did too. "I'm so sorry," he said over and over. 

My original idea for a post was about celebrating what really matters in students' writing. Instead it's about celebrating what really matters in life.

Happy Slicing,


  1. I know that bloodless feeling when you hear those dreaded words. So glad that Clare was okay and it was still able to be driven. Today you can celebrate what really matters!

  2. How wise you are. How horrible it is to hear that call - at least your daughter is okay. Be sure she checks for whiplash - something I've suffered with.

  3. Sorry to hear about this, but thank goodness Clare is okay! Good for you for remaining calm. I know it's not always easy in these situations!

  4. Oh Melanie! Thank goodness Clare was okay. The man crying broke my heart too. You are so right about what matters.

  5. I've had that call more than once, and it was a long time ago, but I still remember, Melanie. It seems that the best of everything happened. Clare is okay, the car will be okay, and the other driver seems helpful, didn't blame Clare for anything. I'm so glad for you! And, I'm happy to see you'll be sharing your expertise on TWT. Congrats to you!

  6. So glad your daughter is okay! But when you wrote about how the man broke down, I almost started crying too. Your kindness towards him was a wonderful thing.

  7. Oh my, how quickly things can be put into their true perspective. My heart fell with Clare's words, "Mom, someone hit me." Thank goodness you could drop everything and be available for her in a difficult time. So glad to see your name posted as one of our new writers for TWT!

  8. So glad your daughter is OK. Your compassion for the man who hit her was tremendous.

  9. Whew! Thank goodness that the important stuff, your daughter, and your compassion for that man are still healthy and whole.

  10. I have gotten several of these phone calls! So scary! Glad your daughter is ok!

  11. Your post brought back memories of "the call." We've been lucky, too, that no wreck has ever harmed any of our girls, but I know the feeling when the call comes. The image of the man crying was sweet and sad. Now the endless calls to insurance and car repair. Sorry.

  12. Oh Melanie, I have been there. A few times. So glad Clare is ok. The things can be fixed.