Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: The Junior Mint Slip #SOL18
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Slice of Life: The Junior Mint Slip #SOL18

I try to keep one eye on the play and one eye on him.  I know he has them.  He always does.

What was that?  Did he shift? 

I look forward toward the stage, so he doesn’t think that I am on to him.


I slowly inch my hand closer to him and open it ever so slightly. 

Maybe now he will do it.

There is loud noise on the stage and my attention shifts to the action.  The lights dim, drawing my eyes to the story unfolding. 

Next thing I know the mint is in my hand.  I turn to see him smiling at me.

He knows he got me again.

I eat my mint and take his hand in mine.


My dad always took me to see plays, especially musicals. It was our time together.  Dinner, theatre, talks in the car, and the Junior Mint Slip.

I don’t know how he did it, but somehow he always managed to buy Junior Mints when I wasn’t looking.  He would sneak them in and then find the perfect moment to slip the first one into my hand.  He always wanted that first one to be a surprise – after that, he just slowly doled them out throughout the show.

It is funny.  Out of all the gifts and events, my dad gave me throughout the years, Junior Mints and this ritual is the one I think of most often.  It was a bit out of character for my dad in some ways.  He wasn’t into surprises and wasn’t one to dote.  He always let me know how much he loved me but wasn’t overly affectionate.  I don’t mean to sell him short, but this was just sweeter than he typically was with me.

I have always been the quietest of my siblings – not shy but never one for being front and center.  My dad always pushed me to shine more, to find my voice, to move beyond my comfort zone.  He wasn’t one to coddle or even comfort.  He was a “pull up your big girl pants” kind of guy.  I think this is why this simple ritual is dear to my heart.  It showed me, while he always wanted me to outgrow myself, he also saw me.  The me of me.  When he played the Junior Mint Slip with me, it was his way of saying to me, I love you for who you are, and who you are will always be good enough for me …

as long as you do your best, work hard, and believe in yourself.  I did say he wasn’t one to coddle!


Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year

  • Avatar
    Lee Ann Spillane
    Posted at 12:18h, 10 March Reply

    What a gift this memory is. I really like how you drew out the moment between watching the stage and sliding your hand toward him
    For that mint.

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    Paula Bourque
    Posted at 12:21h, 10 March Reply

    This is so sweet-literally and figuratively! I’m sure each time you pop a junior mint into your mouth you are awash with sweet memories. I love your mix of poetry and prose to bring your slice to life. What an homage to your dad!

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    Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 12:39h, 10 March Reply

    “The me of me.” I love this snapshot. The Junior Mint Slip, the ritual of it, the fact that you and your dad shared these small moments and what they meant to you is so beautifully expressed. This inspires me to mine my own memories. Thanks for that.

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    Amy Rudd
    Posted at 13:00h, 10 March Reply

    I like how you captured the small moment of sharing the mints. It added another layer of sweet minty-ness to your slice. Your dad’s affection and impact on your life came through in a strong way.

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    Alice Nine
    Posted at 17:33h, 10 March Reply

    What a precious memory. I like how you crafted the moment — shifting between action and thought-shots., and then masterfully used it to drew me in to meet your father.. This could be used as a mentor text to show students how inner dialogue can move a story forward. And it’s a good one for small moments.

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    Lisa Corbett
    Posted at 23:05h, 10 March Reply

    This is a beautiful memory! My daughter is old enough now to go to shows. I am planning our first one this summer. 🙂

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    Julie Johnson
    Posted at 01:36h, 11 March Reply

    “He always saw me.” I love this line. Your dad sounds like a special man.

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    Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 11:06h, 11 March Reply

    Sometimes I head a tradition and I’m like: Oooh, I wish I thought of that–that’s great! Love, love the Junior Mint Slip. Could be a picture book.

    How were YOU the quiet one????

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    Karen Szymusiak
    Posted at 13:29h, 11 March Reply

    Traditions. Memories. All so beautiful. I think he helped shape who you are today. The mints are a great way to remember that special connection.

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    Vickiela Wright
    Posted at 02:03h, 15 March Reply

    I love his encouragement! You did an amazing job capturing those special memories!

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    Cara Wegrzyn
    Posted at 14:27h, 18 March Reply

    The play by play of this piece worked so well I can feel the waiting and wondering. And then the smile when it happened. The reflection Afterward tells so much, too. Thanks for sharing!

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