Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Slice of Life: When we want what we don't want

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. 



"What shoes do you think I should wear?"
I was talking to Larkin, our oldest daughter, as I drove across town. She was preparing for a first-job interview, and I was several hundred miles away preparing to interview someone else's 22 year-old for a first job. 
"It's a Skype, Larkin," I said. "I don't think your shoes are going to be the deciding factor."
"But --"
"Wear the shoes that make you feel the most confident," I interrupted, remembering my pledge to validate her. 

The next hour passed with an impressive demonstration lesson and thoughtful answers to our collection of questions. I managed to focus on the answers and content, although I wondered at one point how much thought had gone into our candidate's shoes. I liked them. I didn't compliment them, but I did share with her that my own daughter was having a parallel experience as we walked from the classroom back to the interview room. 

When our candidate left, I couldn't resist. 
"I'm sorry," I said. "I really need to check my phone and my own girl's experience before we debrief."
My phone was full of text messages. F.U.L.L. 
Mom. I got it!Mom. Mom, call me. Mom, I got it. CALL ME. MMMOOOOOMMMMM. 
My response shocked everyone-- including me-- because I started to cry.
"Go call her," they all said. "We will wait."

I called her and we had a quick celebration conversation. We'd plan the details of how to get her from Michigan to Denver (next week), and we'd figure out how we'd visit from Connecticut. No worries. There's a direct flight. 

I returned to the interview room. We debriefed. I focused.

And then, when I got back into the car to drive to a different school, I cried. To the point where I had to reapply mascara.

Sometimes in life there's a fine--almost invisible-- thread between what we want and what we don't want.

Happy slicing,


25 comments:

  1. Oh Melanie! I can cry reading this. You are such a good mom and Larkin is so amazingly talented. It's all good. And you will hop on that plane so often. And FaceTime. Life is off to a new and exciting chapter!

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  2. Wow! This post is filled with such mom emotion. Many a times I have had such mixtures of feelings that are hard to wrap my arms around. Your post captured this so well.! Right there with you! Thanks for sharing your joy and ...

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  3. I am living this reality as well! My daughter is a news reporter. This is a very competitive market in which she works. As of now, she's only 3.5 hours away, but she's being considered for a position further. It's such a compliment that she is able to find work in the field she's dreamed about, but I miss her terribly! Sending you some great, big mom hugs!

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  4. I love the parallel stories going on in this slice, between the interview you are conducting and your daughter's interview. Congratulations to your daughter! I live in Denver and would be happy to be a surrogate mom if she needs anything! You can email me at carwilc306@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Carol! I will let her know. My brother is there which is great, and I love having people I know be there for her. Our SOL community is the best!

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  5. Love the double story line between Larkin and the other young applicant. Emotions flooded this piece from nervous to excitement and joy and then relief. Congrats to Larkin! You will figure out a way to make it all work out ... but now I'm left wondering, what happened to the other young applicant after her demo lesson and interview ... :)

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    1. Not sure a decision's been made, and not mine to share yet! :)

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  6. This is the story of parenting, right? We want them to walk, but then don't, because of the dangers involved. We want them to be independent...but know that we are both entering a brand new relationship with each other when that happens. How honored you must feel to be included in your daughter's decisions and celebrations, even as you were involved in decision-making for your campus.

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  7. Oh congrats to Larkin! what a wonderful story and interesting how life creates parallels.

    Like Michell - I am wondering about the other young interviewer as well. So what happened?

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  8. Congrats to Larkin! And Denver is such a wonderful city.... Your final line packs so much power.

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  9. That thread has been stretched for the years she was away for college, but there was always hope it was an elastic thread that would bring her back closer to home. My heart is with you, since my son lives half a country away. It's not so quick to get there, but you will make it happen. I do. Congrats to Larkin!

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  10. Love the shared celebration of this slice - the moment where "they all said" "go call her" sealed the deal for me. You were in the midst of a personal celebration and your professional peeps supported your celebration by encouraging you to call your daughter while they waited! Such an important moment! Congratulations to you and your daughter, Larkin! I love good news and I love a good slice! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Aw- well, I'm crying too. I can hear you talking and I can then picture you reading Larkin's texts. Yay for her! Yay for her mama. Love the shoes part...

    Cannot wait to see you.

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  12. I've missed you!! Our slices have not crossed paths in the past month. I have been posting later in the day. Life has been crazy - but I am trying to hold on to weekly slicing. Love this post - I am just dealing with a high school graduation... this sent me over the edge. Oh -- and I do notice the shoes for sure!! Congrats to Larkin (and you!)
    Clare

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  13. Congratulations to Larkin. So many of these moments as a mom. I can cry with you because I know exactly how you feel. Thank goodness for texting and cell phones now that can keep us connected.

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  14. When our youngest graduated from college last month after a long journey, I cried a little too. Those kids will always hold our hearts. Makes me think often about the young teachers we meet and how they hold some far away moms heart as well.

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