Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 12: Frozen

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 12: Frozen

"Please bundle up. Grab your hat. Winter coat. Mittens." I nagged. We were on our way out to sell boxes of Girl Scout Cookies late last week.

"Moooooom. I'm fine," My ten-year-old insisted. It was 33 degrees Fahrenheit, and she donned a t-shirt under a thin zip-up hoodie - her green Girl Scout vest on top. A true Wisconsin kid.

"I'll bring a jacket, but you can't make me wear it." 

Dear Lord. Did my kid really just say that? 

"Can you at least wear your hat and mittens?" I pleaded. 

Reluctantly, Alaina put on a fleece headband, but no mittens. A jacket did not accompany her.

We walked through our neighborhood for over an hour, ringing doorbell after doorbell and pulling our wagon full of Girl Scout Cookies.

Our Girl Scout Cookie sale en route.
Note the snow still on the ground and my daughter's poor choice of warm clothing. 
Around sunset, temperatures quickly plunged. I was freezing in my winter coat, hat, and fleece-lined mittens, but I kept quiet about warmth. 

"Last house," I said as we stood outside the blue colonial. I remained on the sidewalk as she ventured to ring the doorbell.

"Would you like to support my Girl Scout Troop and buy some cookies?" Alaina inquired.   

"Of course! What ya got?" 

Alaina steered the wagon closer to the house, displayed the available cookies. I patiently watched the cookie exchange from the nearby sidewalk.

"Thank you so much." 

"Before you leave, I have a question for you," the neighbor said. 

"Would you like some mittens? Your hands must be frozen." 

Alaina slowly nodded and quietly added, "I can bring them back tomorrow." 

The neighbor shook her head, "No need. I don't want them back. Just stay warm." 
The neighbor's gift of mittens
Let me tell you, it took remarkable restraint not to tell my daughter, I told you so...you should have listened to your mom. I am also quite surprised that I did not tell the woman (as I desperately wanted to) that I asked my daughter to dress properly and she refused. Instead I replied, "Wow! That was nice of her to share mittens with you, Alaina." 

"We live in a great neighborhood, don't we, Mom?" 


  1. You certainly incorporated the strategies Beth nudged us about yesterday and wrote a great story! I don't know completely how I felt about that nudge yesterday, but I love that you used it to write this narrative. And yes, you live in a great neighborhood! I laughed at your inner feelings of wanting to tell your daughter "I told you so" and explaining to the neighborhood why your daughter didn't have on mittens, but refraining from both. That took a lot of willpower! Sometimes we just need to express gratitude instead, and you did, making this a beautiful moment.

  2. I love your slice! I read the same 'nudge' and am going to try to write more of a story myself. Thanks for the wonderful example!

  3. Your post brought back memories of my daughter in scouts. It also made me smile as I remember my own children and their emerging independence. I'm sure Alaina knew your words were wise, even if they went unacknowledged.

  4. I bet Alaina was thinking she should have listened to mom. How did the sale go? I’m always shocked when kids come to school in flip flops and shorts.

    BTW, you always write story slices. Your notebook posts are the story of your writing life, and I find them inspirational. You’ve made me want to do better keeping a notebook, so I ordered a bullet journal to take to China.

  5. GREAT slice of life. I love the restraint and the message. You can share this one day and laugh about it!

  6. When can we ever tell our kids anything? Good on you for showing such restraint. It's hard not to nag, prod, cajole, repeat. Impressive that she got out there to sell her wares in the cold.

  7. Oh my gosh... moments of mom restraint are worthy of congratulations. I stink at them and my kids are 20 and 22! Your writing here is beautiful and made me feel as if I was right there with you and your daughter in the cold that children seem impervious to. What is that anyway??

  8. Such a nice gesture by the neighbor. Good that you were able to swallow "I told you so." Well written slice with all the dialogue and your thoughts.

  9. Loved this story! You were very strong to restrain yourself. It would have taken all of my might.:) I will write that I remember going out into the cold in a t-shirt as a kid (and my mom yelling at me from inside the house). Thanks for the story and sparking the memory!

  10. Oh my goodness! You gave me a good laugh. Your daughter reminds me of the way my neighbor's son goes out to the bus stop in the mornings. He wears a hoodie. We live in Central PA. My eight-year-old wears a coat, gloves, a hat, and a scarf. And he wears -- a hoodie! Why? Because he's 13.

    Here's to hoping she stays warm and that you keep biting your lip. (I can imagine that will be hard to do when my kids get older.)

  11. Oh, this is a wonderful slice. You captured so much here, especially with your inner thinking. I am uber-impressed by your restraint. I'm also struck by how your restraint made the whole moment so much more positive and powerful, for both you and your daughter. Isn't it amazing how the things we don't say can have such an impact?

  12. This really is a wonderful slice. I try to remember to carry coats, gloves, hats in case my son wants them but I try to keep quiet about the reminders. So hard! I admire your restraint in that moment with your neighbor because I KNOW I would have had to say "But I told him to wear gloves, I swear!"

  13. While I appreciate your calm and restraint, I would have been all over that mess! But then again, my daughter would have argued the ENTIRE way as well, so I would have been well past done! :)

    Anyway, thank you for sharing this slice with us and reminding us, it's not always about the "I told you so". :)

  14. What a great story, Trina. I know those battles with children, even adult children. A Mom is a Mom always. Your neighbor totally understood, I am sure. Your last comment was a wonderful one-wisdom of the Moms!

  15. Congratulations on a wonderful slice and the mom constraint you showed. Bravo!!!

  16. My sons are 23 and 25. I can't even tell you how many of these moments we STILL have! Parenting is the hardest job I have ever done!


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For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting  a slice of my life , hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Slice of Life Challenge #21...