Slice of Life: Holding on to the Moment

Sometimes it’s hard to find that feeling of accomplishment.

There are moments that have that quality, but most of the time I’m on the road and I’m not there yet. I get distracted, sidetracked, lost. The path I choose can get blocked and I have to turn around.  Even in the best cases, the feeling of completion happens infrequently. When I’m in the midst of it, it can seem like I’m not getting anywhere.

Over the last few weeks, there were moments when I had a glimmer of accomplishment.

Prior to my daughter’s week at camp, we went to the mall, to do what she loves, shop.

I may have created a bit of this monster in this department. When you have two boys and then a girl, the compulsion to dress them up doesn’t set forth a good model. Perhaps it would have happened regardless of my actions, but her passion for consumption, her pursuit of the sale and her rather ingenious moves to get a clothes she wants is relentless.

The mall can feel like a death march, looking for the just right pair of shoes to go with the dress, which needs to go with something else. But this time, we walked out of the mall in less than an hour.  No shopping bags and no complaints. In the car, I take this moment in and drive home.

On Saturday, I picked her up from Y camp where she spent the week as a volunteer counselor. Eight days, seven nights. She’s been a camper since she was eight, but this time she was in charge.

Before I set eyes on her, I heard about it from other counselors. Apparently she was assigned a rather challenging group of middle school girls.

I waited. I knew she was there, waiting with her “kids” until their parents picked them up.

The crowd of parents and children lessened. The piles of luggage and sleeping bags that lined the parking lot diminished. Finally up she walks, tanned and tired. She hugs me and lays her head on my shoulder. I steal a kiss and take that moment in, holding it close.

On the way to our car, advisors and counselors hug her. We walk on, and I look back, making eye contact with her director. I wave goodbye.

She returns the wave and says, “You have raised a really great kid.”

“Thank you!”  My daughter looks at me, and I say, “I know.”

I take that moment, drape my arm over my daughter’s shoulder and hold her close.

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Thank you, Two Writing Teachers blog for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Read more slices and share your own slice here.

17 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Holding on to the Moment

  1. Such a beautiful slice! Sounds like she takes after her mom! I love the description of how your daughter put her head on your shoulder. I’m sure she will never forget her “challenging” group but it sounds like she impressed a lot of people by the way she handled it. This was such a lovely moment you captured.

  2. That’s the ultimate accomplishment feeling, isn’t it? Having a raised a child well–and watching them behaving as adults is the ultimate reward! Thank you for sharing this special moment.

  3. I got a little teary because I can totally relate to that feeling. I am so proud of who my girls have become. But also to steal a moment of pure love with them is rare and special.

  4. Julieanne, Wow. Such a beautiful piece. Camp was a kind of family for me, definitely a place where I grew into the person I was meant to be. Sounds like this is a bit true for your daughter too. How fortunate she is to have you as her mom and her guide as she navigates the path from girlhood to womanhood.

  5. I got a little teary-eyed. What a beautiful story. I have no kids, but your relationship with your daughter reminds me of that of my twin sister and her daughter. It is a beautiful thing to behold and I am a little in awe of it.

  6. Thanks for sharing this moment. It is amazing to watch them become. You will look back at these moments fondly when she is out on her own (having just written about my younger son’s first apartment).

  7. Love this piece. You have such a powerful voice in your writing. It is strong and warm at the same time as well as calming and energizing. I cannot describe it, but I am always at peace when I read your writing. It is wonderful you took the moment to reflect — too often we run to the next thing and miss these times to celebrate.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Clare

  8. It is so wonderful that you choose to write about those moments that would otherwise come and go. Yet you choose to focus on them, write about them,and celebrate them. Thank you for sharing

  9. Daughters are so…wonderful! I have three, so I know what you mean. My daughters make me feel honored to be their mom. I can see you feel the same! I’m sure your daughter will sleep for the next week, huh? LOL I’m thankful you shared.

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