Slice of Life: Unexpected Sunshine

I left school early. Had to get my daughter to a physical therapy appointment, I text her. No response. I call. No response. I’m hoping she’s home because school is in the opposite direction. I pull up, she’s sitting outside with friends chatting.

“Get in I call out, you have physical therapy at 4:30.”

“No I don’t. I’m not scheduled.”

“Get in, I’ll call.” The beauty of cell phones and information. In less than 60 seconds it’s confirmed. Yes in fact she is scheduled.

“I’m not going,” she says.

“Get in the car.”

“I don’t have an appointment.”

“They think you do.”

This continues in the yes you do, no I don’t fashion.

“I have to go to an event on Saturday, ” she informs me as we drive to the appointment.

So what does this have to do with now, I think.

“It’s a Great Gatsby theme. I have to go if I want to be an officer next year. They are going shopping,” she explains.

“They” are the friends outside my house. Now I get it.

“They can pick me up from physical therapy. Don’t worry we’re going to thrift stores. We won’t spend a lot. Can I have your ATM?”

Geeesh, I think. While this is annoying on one level, I get to drop her off and it is still light out. This NEVER happens. On the way home I take a few pics to commemorate the occasion..


Once home I make a cup of coffee, sit down and think, I can actually get a slice done and get to other work before a crazy hour. Maybe even make dinner.

5:15. I get a text: “Can you get me.”

So much for time. I pick her up.  As we drive home, I am informed we have “nothing” to eat. (My meals aren’t to her liking.) We stop at the store, buy salads and load up the car. A homeless man sits at the exit with a sign reading, “Hungry — Please Help –Thank you.”

“We should give him some food,” she says.

“Sure, give him one of the salads.”

“That’s not something to give someone who is hungry. Next time I’ll think of something good to get him,” she tells me.

“Assuming he’s there next time.”

“Oh he’s always there, or someone else,” she says

I’ve never noticed that.

As we pull up to our house she says, “We should have offered to pay for that woman’s bags.”

“What bags?” I ask.

“The woman in front of us in line had to carry all of her stuff out without bags because she didn’t have a bag and didn’t want to pay for a bag,” she tells me.

I had no idea this was going on. But my daughter noticed. “Next time offer help, don’t hesitate,” I say.

“But it’s not my money to offer,” she says.

“You see what needs to be done. You know I’ll agree with you.”

She notices. When she was a little bit, I would watch her noticing. She studies her environment. She pays attention. This has led to an extreme sense of style, but also an awareness of humanity around her. Today the teenager self receded and the person, the whole person, surfaced, shined, and offered up what she noticed.

So happy to see the sun shine today.

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Unexpected Sunshine

  1. Love your last line. One of my daughters has a strong sense of fashion also and a great awareness of humanity. I haven’t thought about how related the two are–you have made me aware of something I hadn’t realized before–thank you!
    Hope that they found good Gatsby apparel!

  2. So sweet amid the teenage fury, Julieanne. It sounds as if your daughter is a lovely and thoughtful young woman. I love your sharing all the minutes, the challenging and the wonderful ones.

  3. I love when our kids finally notice things and get it!! Great post and great kid. I have a teenager and have had several moments like this. Keep up the good work.

  4. Wow! This piece threw me right back to those teenage years. It’s fun and maddening to watch them evolve and become their own people! There’s so much tug and pull in every interchange with them and you nailed it in this piece.

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