independence · slice of life

Noticing Independence #sol16

IMG_6009Like most young five-year-olds, there’s a lot Isabelle cannot do by herself. When one has a lot of plates spinning, it gets tiring to have to do so much for someone else. However, something happened this morning, as I was upstairs brushing my teeth, that made me remember kids learn how to become independent: bit-by-bit.

“Mommy!” I heard as a shut off my Sonicare.

I rinsed my mouth, dried my face, and walked down the hall to the top of the stairs.

“Yes… May I help you?” I asked.

Isabelle held up the garbage can that resides under her craft table. “Yeah. I need a new garbage bag for my trash can.”

“Do you know where they are?” I asked.

“Oh yeah!” she said running off. (If she knew the word Duh! I bet she would’ve said it.) “I do! I can do it myself.”

I smiled, but waited.

I heard her open the pantry. I heard the rustling of plastic bags. I heard her footsteps race back to her playroom. Then, I watched as she fumbled with the bag, opening it carefully, pushing the bottom of the bag into the trash can, and taking her time to wrap the bag’s handles over the top of the trash can.

“See!” she said lifting the can again. “I did it, Mommy!”

“I do see. That’s great! And you should be proud of yourself. You didn’t need Mommy to come downstairs to help you.”

“I am,” she beamed.

BONUS: She tied up her filled trash bag and left it by the garage door ON HER OWN.

As I sit at my desk — working — and think about my day, I’m focusing on the fact that it takes time for lots of little things lead to independence.

Head over to  for more slices of life.
Head over to for more slices of life.

13 thoughts on “Noticing Independence #sol16

  1. Talk about blowing up an ordinary moment and making it extraordinary! Your use of dialogue and detail to slow the moment down and capture it is terrific. She really is growing up!

  2. I remember these days of growing independence. Even after they leave home, there are days when they will call for reassurance and help. Mothering never ends, and that makes me happy.

    1. So true! I call my parents (who read this blog, so HI MOM & DAD!) for advice and reassurance often. The fact that your daughters do the same is a testament to who you are as a mom, Margaret.

  3. I love how you instantly brought me back to those days of little ones. As a mother of 30 year old children, it was great to recall for a moment those little steps of independence. Cherish the moments and celebrate too – as you did in this post! It truly is the little things in life.

  4. There is so much to celebrate here. I am learning so much about independence lately. I’m learning it means I have to let go and let Tommy do things how he wants to do them. I’m learning I might not always like it. But this is a beautiful example of independence to be celebrated.

  5. It’s marvelous that you have such an eloquent record of these little moments. She will enjoy looking back on them. I always worry that we will remember the big events but forget those little everyday things… Your slices ensure that those moments will not be forgotten.

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