narrative · slice of life · speech

Panera Paper Napkin Narrative

The Story of Our Morning

I relish slow mornings. However, we’re usually out the door within 75 minutes of Isabelle waking up in the mornings, which means I have to get up at least an hour before she does. If I’m not ready-to-go before she rises, then I have to give up my morning stretches, my morning makeup, or my “Morning Joe.” None of these leaves me feeling or looking good!

Monday mornings begin with music therapy. Then we have two hours “off” before she has speech therapy. But her music therapist called me yesterday afternoon (Bless her heart for that early phone call!) since she was under the weather. Therefore, I knew we’d have a slow start to our day.

I always try to do something special with Isabelle after her clinical speech therapy appointment on Mondays since that’s her hardest speech therapy session each week.

“Do you want to go for pizza after we see Marie?” I asked as we drove into the speech therapy parking lot.

“No, Panera!”

“Really? Panera?” I said. What three year-old doesn’t want pizza?!!?

“Yeah! Bagel!”

My stomach flip-flopped. As a New Yorker, I have a true appreciation for good bagels. In my opinion, Panera’s bagels are just bread with a hole in the middle. I don’t understand what Isabelle’s obsession with them is, but I know she loves them (despite the fact she has had Murray’s Bagels from Chelsea).

“Okay, if you do your work at Marie’s, then we’ll go to Panera for a bagel.”

* * * * *

Once the food came to our table, Isabelle decided she wanted to sit on the same side of the bench as me. In an effort to make some small talk, I decided to talk about our relaxing morning. I took out a pen from my purse and began asking her “What did we do first/second/third/etc.?” today. She came up with all of the items herself. I drew out each one and wrote a sentence about it on a napkin. Then, we practiced telling the story. After practicing three times, I secretly recorded her under the table:

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narrative · writing

Stories come from three places.

I had the chance to listen to Deborah Wiles speak at KSRA this afternoon. Unfortunately, I had an appointment, which procluded me from listening to her entire talk. (Yes, I was one of the people who had to sit at the back of the room and sneak out in the middle of her talk. I don’t like being one of those people, since I know how that feels as a speaker. But I had to today!) There was something Wiles asserted about stories that I wrote down since I’m desperately trying to find a way to make time to get my stories down on the page.

Wiles said:
Stories come from three places: the brain, the heart, and the gut.

What does that mean?
Brain: That’s what you know or your experiences.
Heart: That’s what you feel about your experiences.

Gut: That’s what you imagine; the meaning you make out of your experiences.

I’m about to push myself more as a writer. (I’ll be blogging about that more this-coming Monday at Two Writing Teachers.) Until then, I’m going to keep Wiles’ advice in mind: “Stories come from three places: the brain, the heart, and the gut.”