Slice of Life: Moments That Bubble and Pop

It’s Tuesday and time for Slice of Life. I wanted to write a small moment personal narrative; what my students are currently working on. Tomorrow they flash draft.

I dove into my notebook to find something story worthy, but the story walked into the room and announced itself. After writing tonight, the anger of the moment is largely diffused. Emotions didn’t escalate as the same situation might have a few years ago. Dare I celebrate that fact? What follows is a teeny slice of parenting life. A story that irritates momentarily, and dissipates quickly.


I’m tired. It’s 8:31, but feels like 11:31. Monday  evening and I just lost it with my daughter.

I’m sitting in the living room, dressed in my pjs and sweat shirt,  checking emails.

She walks up to me and asks, “Can we go to Trader Joe’s?”

“Wait I tell her,” not really listening, “I need to respond to this.”

She walks away.

Time passes.

The door creaks open and she walks out of her bedroom. She stands over me,  the keys to the car in her hand. It dawns on me she wants to drive, and for some reason, tonight I just don’t want her to. It’s not that driving with her is that bad. She’s really good, for a 16-year old. I just don’t want her to drive now and tell her so.

Her reaction is immediate: the look on her face, the tone of her voice.  I can see her digging in her heels.

Most of the time, I don’t fight this kind of a battle. It just doesn’t come close to registering on my things-to- die-on-the-sword-for gage. But tonight, I’m just not in the mood to give in.  “No, I’ll drive,” I say.

“Fine,” she said.  “I’ll starve,”and walks to her room.

Mind you, our refrigerator is full. But not with the particular dietary needs she requires at this time.

I’m irritated but that passes as I sink into writing.  Interesting to note, the door to her room doesn’t slam shut. Just a quiet and normal sounding shut. Clearly her request wasn’t worth the fight.

I’m relieved. A small moment that might have blown up in the past, just slipped away.

For those of you who have or have had a teenage girl, I hope you can identify with this silly clash of wills. I hope I’m not alone. Sometimes these moments just walk in unannounced, rising up from who knows where and then slink off.

The beasts go to bed. Sleep should provide transformation by morning.




Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this space to be and become writers. A place to share moments, the good and the not so good.

Thank you Tara, Stacey, Beth, Anna, Dana and Betsy for your wonderful blog. Find more posts and add your own here.

13 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Moments That Bubble and Pop

  1. I can completely relate to this, “Sometimes these moments just walk in unannounced, rising up from who knows where and then slink off.” This has happened with my teen, but also with others in my life. I’m glad it didn’t become a storm.

  2. I felt like I was reliving MY Monday night. I have a vegan tuba-playing 15 year-old, but that probably wouldn’t matter. She would still want to drive (doesn’t have a license) and go to Trader Joe’s (just opened up about 30 minutes away in traffic), and she would definitely proclaim: “Great. I’ll starve!” Wow. This SOL is so poignant and real to me. Do you suppose one day these girls will be writing a SOL about their own daughters?

  3. Julieanne,
    Your personal narratives are so riveting and definitely capture small moments! I could literally hear the door – not slamming! No daughters, but I could relate to the “but I want what I want now” angst.

  4. I can fill the shoes of both of your “characters”. I remember being 16 and yes, I agree she handled herself well. Controlled, but the urge to drive, I remember that… good moment to share with us 🙂

  5. I love the way you said that your story walked into the room unannounced. Just as well it walked out pretty much the same way. I think that was a close call! Well done. 🙂

  6. Terrific, and I remember well, Julieanne, especially when it’s later in the evening. You described it beautifully, love all the parts mentioned above, and that title-so apt! Glad it was a bubble that popped!

  7. I think these kind of moments like to sneak up when we are tired or busy. I am glad this situation ended with a bit exaggerated statement and not a bang.

  8. I have a son, who is only four, but I can relate to the potential, bubbling just at the surface, and if we can get the heat turned down in time, it settles. I loved your imagery 🙂

  9. “Sometimes these moments just walk in unannounced, rising up from who knows where and then slink off.” I feel this line and my daughter is only 5. Yikes. You relay this moment so nicely in this slice.

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