Monday, March 5, 2012

SOLSC #5: The Window

When I started this challenge I wanted to create writing I could use with the young writers in my classroom.  My first four posts have been about memories.  Today I was bound and determined to write about something a little newer, a little fresher, a little more present.  

Well, this probably is a combination of the past and the present.  This is a piece I've been playing with for awhile.  It's probably still not ready for the light, but I'm going to let it live here for a bit.  Anne Lamont in Bird by Bird reminds us, "There will be many mistakes, many things to take out and others that need to be add.  You just aren't always going to make the right decision."  
Sometimes I stare out the kitchen window at the field and trees beyond.  Through this window I watch the seasons change, the deer roam, and the birds flutter freely about.  This kitchen window is the place where I stand reflecting on my days, my decisions, my life, as my soapy hands finish the dishes. 

This is the same window where my mom stood each evening.  It is easy to picture her there preparing meals for our family or cleaning the dishes my brothers or I should have taken care of for her, but she did them and she never complained.  Though she was coming home from ten or more hours of work.  Though she was busy finishing laundry.  Though she was racing to get us from here to there. 

My mom was a working mom back when many mothers stayed home with their children.  Her mother, my grandmother, didn't work after having children.  My grandma had enjoyed working and wanted to have a job, but those were the times you stayed home to care for your family.  It's what you did.  My mom, however, had decided to work and care for us.  Though it wasn't easy, she kept her job.  Maybe to fulfill the dreams of her mother.  Maybe out of necessity.  Maybe out of ambition.  Maybe a combination of these. 

My mom was a working mom who worried about her children and her choice.  She didn’t realize the lessons her hard work was teaching us.  She didn’t realize we were learning responsibility while other children were having their moms drop off forgotten lunches.  She didn’t realize we were learning to speak for ourselves.  She didn’t realize we were seeing possibilities through the door she left open as she raced out.

My mom was a working mom, but we always knew we came first.  As I stand at the kitchen window I wonder did she worry about the things I worry about?  Did she stand there to muster the strength for parenting the way I do?  Did she know her choices were paving the way for our success? 


  1. I just love how you went from the present to the past and back again right through that kitchen window. So many levels here. So much to think about.

  2. Knowing your Mom, I'm sure she did. What a beautiful story, really more of a tribute to a mother who took care of those around her, as she continues to do even now. I'm sure she had the same hopes, dreams, worries, and fears that we all have as she looked out that kitchen window at that beautiful view. Great insight Cathy!

  3. What a beautiful piece honoring your mom! I love the images you share through the window or your kitchen and your past.

  4. Do you live in the same house you grew up in? I love how your Mom showed you working and family was possible. I think all the reasons you mentioned for why she worked were probably true and also true for many of us today. Thanks for sharing your reflections.

  5. I love knowing more about your life through your posts. It is true that our mom modeled for us what it means to be responsible and to still make time for family. I remember watching her stick her tongue out in that funny way while she did the dishes. And she was probably sorting out her life. Thanks for the slice!

  6. What a wonderful story, Kathy. I think a lot of us stand at the window, and reflect on our day as we look out into the universe. This piece is a tribute to working moms (like me and especially yours) everywhere. Thanks for sharing your slice.


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