Missing

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

Yesterday I was searching for something on one of my book shelves and came across a small box of pennies. Opening that box transported me back to a time when I did quite a bit of staff development. To get teachers thinking and writing, I would sometimes ask them to choose a penny, look at the date it was minted, and think about what was going on in their lives at that time. Ah-ha! Maybe there’s a story for me in here just waiting to be written! I chose one…

1985 – I’m much, much younger. Married less than ten years. My kids are little, very little. Brian is ready to start kindergarten…

One sunny summer morning I pack the kids up and go to the park. Today there is something special going on – a craft fair! With Ann in a stroller and Brian by the hand, we make our way through the crowds past stands of pottery (don’t touch!), hand-knitted scarves (Mom-Mom would like this), and homemade jams (yes, you can have a sample). “Stay with me,” I warn. We linger by some handcrafted wooden toys for a few minutes, then continue on. A stand with colorful, hand-painted greeting cards catches my eye, then another with delicate silver jewelry. Suddenly, I realize there is no little boy with me, no one holding onto the end of my jacket. I race back through the crowds calling his name. My son is missing! is the only thought in my mind. Heart pounding. Tears spilling. Hands shaking. I take a deep breath and retrace my steps. One minute, two minutes, it might as well have been a hundred minutes. But then…I spot a familiar red shirt back at the stand with the wooden toys. We are reunited.

The details might be a little fuzzy, but after all these years, that feeling of sheer panic still resurfaces when I think of that time.

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12 Responses to Missing

  1. lynnedorfman says:

    Oh, that is a really frightening experience, Rosie. Heart stopping! The reason I never could relax and enjoy school field trips.
    I love the idea about the box of pennies for staff development. Today, would many of the pennies date before the teachers were out of diapers? I am thinking of so many new teachers today as baby boomers retire.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. arjeha says:

    A truly frightening experience for any parent, Rose. I do like this idea of using pennies as a jump start to writing. I think it would be interesting to see how many could come up with a remembered event from that year or the surrounding years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rosecappelli says:

      It’s always amazing what you can remember when you think about your age at that time, where you worked, where you lived, and so on. I always found it to be a fun activity. Guess that’s why I kept those pennies all these years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I once lost Eddie at the mall. Panic ensued. I can still feel it as I know you can too. You relay that scary experience well … one minute, two minutes, 100 minutes (even 2 seconds is 100 minutes at a time like that.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness, my worst fear! I’ve literally had nightmares about my kids being missing! I love the strategy of looking at the date one a penny to spark and idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These lines are amazing. Truly mentors for kids. The variation in sentence length shifted my breathing and then I was holding my breath and then a sigh of relief. Well done! I will be printing this out for students.— Heart pounding. Tears spilling. Hands shaking. I take a deep breath and retrace my steps. One minute, two minutes, it might as well have been a hundred minutes. But then…I spot a familiar red shirt back at the stand with the wooden toys. We are reunited.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Margaret DeAngelis says:

    I do this with every coin I pick up on the street or find in a pocket. (Yes, I stoop for pennies, for just this purpose.) Tricky with very recent coins, as most pennies I see are.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Karyn B says:

    This is an amazing piece. I’m actually going to steal this idea and write similarly soon. I love the emotion to brought to your writing. Your panic was clear…followed by relief. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joan Durrin says:

    I love this idea! I too am going to use your penny collection. That is the worst feeling ever! Great way to build tension with the short sentences. I’m glad it ended on a high note.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: SOL 13: 1983 | Karyn In The Kitchen

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