Saturday, March 5, 2011


 This week's writing prompt: Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself. Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, please give us a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self.

"Mommy!  Mommy! Come Quick!!"

My youngest son, three years old, came tearing into the kitchen at top speed. He grabbed my shirt and did his best to drag me out to the front yard. His big brother was lying on the grass looking skyward.

Thrusting his chubby finger up to the deep blue, he yelled, "LOOK! The cwouds!  They're moving!"

"Well, what do you know! They are moving!" I smiled at my excited son.

We went into the house, got a big blanket and a box of graham crackers and spent the rest of the afternoon looking at the clouds skittering across the sky. I told the boys a story about a little, puffy cloud who wanted to grow up to be a big rain cloud. And since one of Mommy's principal jobs is that of teacher, we talked about how water evaporates, rises to the sky and forms clouds only to rain and release all that moisture back to us in an endless, life-giving cycle.

Daddy came home and asked what we were doing. Still excited by his discovery, our little boy said, "Lookin' at the cwouds go!" And my sweet husband flopped his tired body down next to us. We munched on graham crackers and pointed out shapes in the clouds.  We didn't finish the dishes or turn on "Wheel of Fortune", we looked at the sky.

Maybe I should have patted him on the head, praised him for his keen observation, and gone back to the kitchen. Maybe I should have given him something to do so he wouldn't "waste time" looking at the clouds. I didn't do that. It is too important to me that my children, then and now, know that I will never dismiss their insights and ideas. The biggest gift we can give our children is a sense of being valued and respected, as well as loved

I believe in the innate power of the storyteller. People have been entertained, informed and whisked away by stories since the beginning of humanity. So I told them a story. Mommies are storytellers, and we are our children's first teachers. I wanted my children to know about things like why it rains, to show them how all things fit together in an intricate plan. I wanted them to ask that all-important question: "Why?"

Now that those two cherished boys are grown men, I see those early lessons bearing fruit. They are both intensely interested in the world around them. They are both well-balanced, confident, capable and honorable young men. They both make good decisions, because they learned long ago how to think for themselves.

My children gave me treasured gifts, too. They gave me permission to cast aside my chores for a while and look at the world through their eyes: fresh, young, innocent eyes to which all things are a revelation. They taught me that it is never a waste of time to stare in awe at some beautiful sight. They gave me a precious reminder that life is short, that we shouldn't waste those golden moments of being connected to the ones we love and our remarkable world. They taught me to slow down, to hold life with both hands and smile at the wonder of it all.

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ


  1. With thanks to my new writing buddy, Katie! She rightly pointed out some holes in my story, which I hope I have repaired now. :-)

  2. What a lovely way to spend time with your kids! It's so easy to get caught up in all the stuff that "needs" to be done... :)

    I'm visiting from the Red Dress Club linkup. :)

  3. I really like this. I too take the time to treasure the beauty of the world with my children.

    If they don't point out one of the many marvels of nature while we are out, I try to, but the best is when they discover it, and share it with me, with all the joy and wonder of a child experiencing their world.

  4. There is nothing quite like the wonder of a child, and you are right, it is our job to nurture that.

  5. I love this! You definitely made the right choice that day. The laundry and dishes will always be there later.

  6. I LOVE the revision!!!! This is just the special insight I was longing for when I read the "sneak preview". Excited to encourage my little guy to ask, "why?"

  7. This is a wonderful reminder to let our children be little.. and curious.. and that the world is a never-ending stream of new discoveries for them that we can learn from as well. Thank you for this!

  8. oh, how sweet. so clearly remembered, so tenderly written about. thank you for this!!

  9. This is such a wonderful memory! I can only hope to have a few memories like this one when my kids are grown up too.

    Beautifully written!