The Story Starter

It’s the month of March, and so, like many others, I’m on the lookout for things to write about for Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.  The goal is to write a personal narrative of some sort each day.  

This afternoon I had the opportunity to go hiking with my granddaughters, ages six and seven.  I just knew something would happen that would cause me to think, “That’s it–that’s what I’m going to write about!”

I picked them up at their house (their Nana, my wife, was at work and was to meet us at the trail), and throughout the effort of putting on socks and shoes and packing the daypack with toys nothing really struck my fancy.  

The 30 minute drive to the trail was filled with conversation between the two of them and me.  I asked questions, we talked about how to play tennis after passing a court full of people on a beautiful spring-like Saturday afternoon, and our follow-on conversation was about the different meanings of the word “boundaries.”  Still, nothing jumped out at me.

The time on the trail was wonderful, with the girls chattering constantly about whatever came to their minds.  I joked a bit about needing a towel after swimming in their streams of consciousness, but their voices were wonderful to listen to as they enjoyed the time with their Nana.  Their Auntie (our daughter was able to meet us for the walk) and I were there, but my wife had their full attention–she’s good like that.  Throughout the whole hike I listened carefully, but again I failed to come up with that perfect story starter.

We finished the hike, said goodbye to the Auntie, and headed toward the car.  They both clambered into the back seat; Lisa moved to one side to help our youngest buckle up, and I was leaning over the oldest, trying to get the belt buckled despite the booster seat’s best effort to hamper my success.

“Hey, Grandpa, guess what?” she whispered into my ear that presented itself some five or six inches in front of her face.

“What?” I replied.

“I’m wearing pajamas.”

As the buckle clicked into place, I extracted myself partially from the backseat in order to look into the smile on that that whimsical you didn’t know, did you? face.

I reached down slowly to feel the hem of the “dress” she was wearing over her leggings.

As my fingers slid easily over the smooth polyester and my eyes fell upon the pattern of the fabric, I realized she was right.

Quick, somebody get me a pen!

16 thoughts on “The Story Starter”

  1. Oh, my favorite kind of slice. The unexpected sliver of your day worth celebrating from the mischievous smile of a child. I could almost see the twinkle in her eye. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s what I can’t help thinking about. Your granddaughter KNEW. The WHOLE TIME. That she was wearing those pajamas. She likely spent the WHOLE DAY thinking about how she was wearing her pajamas. About how nobody seemed to notice. And how she had this secret. She kept that secret the WHOLE TIME, until she found the perfect moment. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So cute! That’ line, “Hey, Grandpa, guess what?!” Now, who could resist writing about that no matter what came out of her mouth! It’s always enjoyable to hear about your walks with your granddaughters, Tim! Thanks.

    On another note, isn’t it funny how we are “on alert” for a topic to write about! I often go through the same motions when I am looking for a piece to get the words to flow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, you’re right! I think I could write about them just about every day.

      It is funny–you’re right about that, too. I’m always looking for something to write about. (:


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