A few days ago, I told my husband, “I really need to write on Saturday.” I’d been working on a magazine article, and had to finish it and submit it by the approaching deadline. Stanton completely understood and encouraged me to take whatever time I needed. He would take care of the girls, which is what I do during the week when he’s working.
Saturday came. In the early afternoon, Anna was napping. I got my car keys. Stanton and Grace were reading on the couch, the sunlight streaming in from the window behind them. In that moment, I realized I hadn’t talked with Grace lately.
Yes, I always ask her how school is. I give in to her request for a cup of Scrabble Junior Cheez-Its as I’m on the phone with her dentist’s office. I plead with her to play quietly in her room while I rock Anna to sleep in hers.
But we hadn’t really talked lately.
So, car keys in hand, I said, “Grace, why don’t you come with me?”
Grace perked up. “But you have to write a story.”
“I can always do it later tonight. But now, would you like to come to the coffee shop with me?”
“Just me and you?”
I smiled. “Yes.”
A bit later at the coffee shop, Grace and I sat across from each other at a table for two. Grace was eating a cookie. I had a cup of coffee and a muffin. We chatted about her classmate’s upcoming birthday party and which present he might like, and her ice skating lesson the next day. I remembered something I wanted to include in my article, and scribbled the idea down in the notebook I always carry in my bag.
This notebook of mine has scribbles galore—countless stories waiting to be told, someday.
“Mom, I know a great story you can write,” Grace said.
I put my pen down. “What is it, honey?”
Grace finished chewing. “Me and Grace went to Perfect Blend together…and that was a very special day,” she said. “The end.”
I felt a lump in my throat.
“Do you like my story, Mom?”
“I love you, Grace,” I replied instead.
We have so many things we have to do every day. Some are nonnegotiable. But sometimes, our to-do lists can wait.
I meant to write a magazine article that Saturday afternoon. I had a date with my daughter instead.
As it turns out, we wrote a meaningful story together anyway.
“‘Me and Grace went to Perfect Blend together…and that was a very special day…The end.'”
Photo credit: Pixabay
Like what you just read? Then check out Melissa Leddy’s newest short fiction e-book, “This Is Just a Story.” Fun, timely and thought-provoking.