slice of life

And in the end…

It’s the final day of March, which means it’s the final day of the 16th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.

Posting for a photo with my grandparents at my uncle’s wedding in 1986.

In 2008, when the Challenge began, I was still raw after the death of my beloved grandmother, who passed away on March 24, 2007. She missed a joyful year of events (i.e., my graduation from Teachers College, my 30th birthday, and my wedding), which made losing her — my final living grandparent — painful. She was 92 when she died, and I was there until the end.

If I’m being honest, I hadn’t liked March for a long time. My grandfather (her husband) passed away on March 16, 1990, less than three months before my Bat Mitzvah.

The annual SOLSC has been an excellent distraction from the sense of loss I’ve felt every March since 1990. In fact, co-hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge has changed how I view March. Rather than viewing March through a lens of sadness, the Challenge has been an invitation to slow down and notice. YES, the March Challenge is a lot of work as a co-host. But, it’s a time to connect with other educators through stories. It’s a time to be inspired. It’s a time I’m grateful to have each year.

Most Tuesdays year-round, I participate in SOL Tuesdays where I share a slice of life about one or both of my children, Isabelle and Ari. (Isabelle is named after my Grandma Ida. Ari’s Hebrew name, Matisyahu, is the same as my Grandpa Morris’ Hebrew name.) I love reading the stories and comments from the Tuesday Slicers as much as I enjoy reconnecting with Slicers who participate in the March Challenge only.

Here’s a look back at this month’s slices:

  1. A Dog Named Fish
  2. New Title: Fish and Dasher
  3. “I don’t like my blood type” is not a real complaint!
  4. Smashing Station
  5. Organizing
  6. “Mise en Place” is not a guarantee!
  7. Hair for the Big Day
  8. Mother Knows Best
  9. Play with Your Food
  10. Don’t Make Fun of Invented Spelling
  11. Extra Eggs
  12. Feed the Meter
  13. The Lox Snob
  14. Impervious to the Cold
  15. From Traps to Brackets
  16. Not-So-Stealthy Pics
  17. Mom’s Kitchen
  18. Definitely Not a Marriott!
  19. Everyone’s a Comedian
  20. The Genesis of the “Whale Shirt”
  21. 16″ Sandwich
  22. Puppy Wash
  23. Y-Peeler
  24. Talk to the Puppy
  25. Proposal: A New Kind of Leap Year
  26. The Big A.I. Talk
  27. Read from Right to Left… And Hold the Vowels!
  28. Does it feel “just right” to you?
  29. An Edible-Medical Nose
  30. Game-Changer
  31. The Gift of a Quiet Morning

That’s 31. I made it to the end of March… and so did you! Thank you for coming along on this writing journey with me. I treasure every exchange I have had with the Slicer Community this month.

I’ll close by sharing some music that inspired the title of this post. Take a listen.

Orange Slice with Slice of Life and Two Writing Teachers URL
Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

32 thoughts on “And in the end…

    1. I’m thrilled to hear this, Susan. It definitely is renewing to meet up like this once a year. Margaret George, who is a first-year Slicer, referred to her daily writing as self-care. What a brilliant way to frame it!

    1. I’m so grateful to you, Lisa, for being one of the ORIGINALS who has stuck with it all of these years. Back then, neither of us had kids. (Do you even remember your life pre-kids? Mine is a blur!)
      We did it again… woo-hoo!

  1. Another year in the books! What a way to reframe a time that used to signify sadness and loss. This challenge means so much to me and I adore this writing community! Thank you for starting the challenge and keeping it up year after year. 😍

  2. Thank you for all the work and time you put in to make this Challenge work. I love this story about how you reframed March into a month of connecting and inspiring, I am sure your Grandparents are proud. I too have found comfort and support in this community through sharing the happy and not so happy moments that make up life.

  3. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make…” Perfect, Stacey, and thank you for the opportunity to balance the equation. (Rugelach and bagels, too! Mazel tov on Isabelle’s Bat Mitzvah —and Ari finding the right shirt!)

      1. Oh I’d love that, but now I’m in Oregon. Maybe we’ll connect in Columbus for NCTE?

      2. I’m skipping NCTE this year. I didn’t put in a proposal. Given that I host Thanksgiving, I can’t justify going if I am not presenting. Alas, I hope to be there in 2024!

  4. Stacey, what a gift to writers everywhere! Slicing every day in March is something I look forward to and I am certain I will continue to slice on Tuesdays. Thanks for all the hard work that goes into creating this space for writers to share and grow. You are an inspiration and a bright star in the universe. Thanks for all your family stories – always heart warming, wise, and often, humorous!

  5. The March challenge has a bit of magic in it. For me it has stopped being an exercise of writing and has turned into self-care. You set a wonderful example of writing honest and personal slices. Thank you!

    1. Yes, it is self-care! (You’re the second Slicer to say that this year.) I will run with this as a re-frame in future years!
      So glad you continue to come back Tuesday after Tuesday and March after March, Terje!

  6. Such beauty as you move from reasons March holds grief, to your gratitude. And I enjoyed going over your list of titles- you are a great title-crafter!
    PS thx for the gift of the Beatles 🙂

    1. I appreciate the compliment about the titles. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years.
      Thank you for the nudge to submit that piece I wrote to a magazine. I reached out to a parenting/educators magazine that’s interested in running it!

  7. Cant believe I forgot to also say- thank you for the gift of the TWT March Challenge! I hope you know it has meant so much to me, as well as so many others. I was thinking this week, who would I be, without my past 9 years of writing for this? Not myself; someone less than myself. Thank you, Stacey.

    1. Who would any of us be without this writing challenge? I know it’s shaped me in ways I never expected. So glad it’s done the same for you, Fran. Thrilled you keep joining us year after year!

  8. Thank you Stacey for doing this year after year. It is my fifth year, and I probably needed it this year more than the others (although 2020 was quite a time for blogging). I really loved your March 28th post and will keep thinking about where you could publish it. NCTE English journal? I know that’s not related to parenting, but you express such a truth about finding the right book that it should belong there. My best to you.

    1. I will absolutely consider it. If you think of something less teacher-centered then let me know. I almost feel like it’s something parents really need to hear more than teachers. (Maybe I’m wrong about that.)

  9. Hi Stacey,
    Thanks so much for hosting. I, too, feel the same way about March. I don’t have anniversaries associated with it that make me sad, but it’s always been the hardest month for me. Maybe, I too, can change my attitude toward March with a commitment to participating every year.
    Thanks again for all of your hard work.
    Take care,

  10. You do an amazing job hosting and making sure this space runs well for so many people and so many good things. We have all benefited from your deep commitment to the SOLSC. Sometimes mixed feelings share space, and that space becomes even more sacred ground. Much gratitude to you.

    1. As you know, this is a team effort. You know how many moving parts there are!
      If it looks easy to those who are outside of our co-author group, then we’re doing it right!

  11. Thanks again for starting it all, I have so enjoyed coming back for six years now. Your grandparents sound amazing, three of my grandparents died before I was born and I’ve always regretted not getting to know them.

    1. I can empathize with this. My father’s mom passed away right after I was born. She sounded like such an incredible lady. I’ve always felt a little incomplete since I never had the chance to know her.
      Glad you keep joining us year after year.

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