Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Living Beyond the To-Do List #SOL17
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Slice of Life: Living Beyond the To-Do List #SOL17


All I want to do is go to bed.  It’s been a crazy busy week.  I am trying to finish up a few last things I need to do to settle my brain for the night.  I have a few more tasks and sleep will be mine.  I can hear my pillow calling to me.

Hey, Mom.  Do you want to play a game?

That is not my pillow.  I take a deep breath.  When your fifteen-year old son asks you to play a game there is no other answer than SURE!

Sure.  Do you mind setting it up while I finish this email?

Want to play up here?


He runs downstairs, gets the game and begins to clear off the table in my office.  I can hear the tiles click and know he chose my favorite game.  I remember that parenting is more than a to do list.  It is not about making sure you do everything perfectly or being on every committee.  It is not something you do, it is sharing a piece of who you are every day and helping them figure out who they are at the same time.  There is no magic bullet or clear path.  There are many lessons learned and countless unanswered questions.  It is not something you can control or something you stop doing at a certain age.  There are many worries and moments of joy that words cannot describe.  It is intense and comforting at the same time.

I close my computer, turn off my phone and set aside my to-do list.  Tomorrow is another day.  Today is happening right now.


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    Kevin Hodgson
    Posted at 12:00h, 18 March Reply

    Ahh . you are right … never say “no” when the teenage boy wants to hang out with you. Make the time.

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    Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 12:22h, 18 March Reply

    I tried to get my daughter and her friends to stay home and play games with me, but the lure of a SPD party was too great. Parenting is SO much more than a to do list and volunteering. It’s lifting your head off the pillow when you’re dead tired and ready for sleep to play a game and then some!

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    Lisa Keeler
    Posted at 12:38h, 18 March Reply

    This is spot on… your words are perfect- parenting is more than a to do list – it’s sharing a piece of who you are. I just love this.

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    Posted at 14:07h, 18 March Reply

    So important to pay attention to our loved ones in front of us – at any and all ages. Hate to see people who are on their phones and a child seems ignored. Try not to judge . . . but when hours pass and there is no conversation, no game, no face-to-face interaction . . . SIGH!

    Yes, stop and play!

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    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 14:20h, 18 March Reply

    I am so with you there – and it doesn’t end when they move out! I was tired this week from back to back late night meetings and wanted a quiet Friday night – but a call to share an Irish dinner with my grandson came in – No brainer what I did!

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    Linda Baie
    Posted at 15:15h, 18 March Reply

    “Today is happening right now!” I remember telling someone that sleep is also lost in the teen years, and your slice shows it well. When you’re about to go to bed and that child/teen says, “want to talk?”, it isn’t okay to say “maybe tomorrow”. I love that he chose your favorite game!

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    Posted at 15:26h, 18 March Reply

    Yes! Today is happening right now. As a parent, I always try to remember this – if they ask for time, a game, help with something, I want my girls to remember that I was always there for them. It’s the time together that matters … and when time is going this fast, I need to steal as much of it with them as I can. Happy you got to cherish this time with your son.

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    Aileen Hower
    Posted at 16:25h, 18 March Reply

    What a sweet and special moment to cherish!

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    Carrie Gelson
    Posted at 17:56h, 18 March Reply

    Oh – yes, when a teenager suggests something, always say yes! I am jealous. My 14 year old son is holed up in his room right now. The last thing he asked me? Could I do his laundry? 🙂

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    Lisa C
    Posted at 18:41h, 18 March Reply

    Right…today is happening right now! I say something like that to myself every time my 4-year-old asks me to play cars with him.

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    Elisabeth E.
    Posted at 19:32h, 18 March Reply

    Everything on my to-do list stops when my son asks for my company or attention! I love the exploration of the meanings and actions of parenting here. And I love the line: “it’s not something you do.” I think we often confuse active parenting with the things we do for our children or with our children, but who we are to our children is even more important I think.

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    Posted at 19:36h, 18 March Reply

    I have lived this more times than I can remember. There are times when my daughter will say almost nothing and other times when she will not stop talking. It is sometimes hard to remember that I need to listen. Everything else can wait. While it is hard to do your post reminds me to slow it down a bit. Work, dishes,etc can wait as they will always be there.

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    Donna Smith
    Posted at 21:31h, 18 March Reply

    It is so important to realize today is happening right now! No regrets! I love this post!


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    Posted at 22:08h, 18 March Reply

    So special, Clare! You will have so many wonderful memories to tuck away of time spent with your son.

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    Karen Terlecky
    Posted at 23:39h, 18 March Reply

    What a gift that he still asks mom to play a game with him! And you will have much time on your hands in years to come. I hope you enjoyed the game and the special time with your son!

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    Laurie Pandorf
    Posted at 23:48h, 18 March Reply

    Beautiful post – i really enjoyed reading it. I especially liked these two lines, “It is not something you do, it is sharing a piece of who you are every day and helping them figure out who they are at the same time.”

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    Rita DiCarne
    Posted at 02:16h, 19 March Reply

    I feel this way when my grown kids want to come and visit with their kids, or when they call me. I always have time to talk even if I was in the middle of something else. If your kids want to spend time with you then you find the time. I would be heartbroken if they didn’t want to spend time with me.

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    Posted at 03:33h, 19 March Reply

    How lovely that yor teenage son wants to play with you. In years to come you’ll recall this moment and be glad you set aside your to do list.


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    Krista Schmidt
    Posted at 07:01h, 19 March Reply

    How terrific that he’s asking to play a game with you…and is willing to come to you…with your favorite game! For sure, the answer must be a resounding YES!

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    Posted at 08:16h, 19 March Reply

    I so loved this slice.
    Thank you.
    Those moments are precious.
    Loved these lines:
    – Living beyond the to-do list.
    -When your fifteen-year old son asks you to play a game there is no other answer than SURE!
    -Today is happening right now.

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    Katherine Sokolowski
    Posted at 14:28h, 19 March Reply

    I love this. I know all too well the tug of something you want to do, but then the chance to do something with one of my boys. Never a moment that I regret. Thanks for the reminder.

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