Slice of Life Tuesday: Storytelling in the grocery store



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Late Sunday morning, and I’m in a long line at our local Trader Joe’s.  Everywhere, there are squirming children and getting crankier by the moment adults.  In this sea of impatience there is an island of contentment: one over and two ahead of me is a shopping cart loaded down with groceries…and a smiling toddler with his mom.

What could be keeping them in good cheer, I wonder.  So, I watch closely.

The little one points to one of the many colorful signs that adorn the store:

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Each time, mom tells a story – one about a pilot in search of the best ice cream, another about a surfer outracing a shark.  The little one giggles wildly, asks questions, furrows his brows, and thinks for a moment.  Everyone else is grouchy, sighing with annoyance, thinking of all the places they would rather be than this particular line.

Except for this story loving duo.

“Tell me more, Mom! Then what happens?”

“Well,  suddenly a big wave comes up, and…”


22 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Storytelling in the grocery store

  1. YES! I love that you celebrated the storytelling duo. I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective and where we chose to focus our stories. This story and the fact that you picked THIS story to tell makes me so happy! THANK YOU!

  2. I love this! Was just thinking this morning about a group I’m attending on Monday nights. The women who teach are very, very grounded in the subject and do a great job, but I would love to know who they are- are they married, do they have kids, do they work, what are their stories? And I’m dying to read Newkirk’s book!

  3. Too bad the rest of the impatient shoppers didn’t stop to savor the story possibilities, they might be in a better mood as they left the store. This is a perfect example to share with students to show how such a small moment can become a story.

  4. Your noticing of that mom’s storytelling powers brought a lovely story to us in turn–the power of storytelling can echo so much father than we even know.

  5. Love this slice — it speaks to me about remembering to be in the present. It is so easy to get stressed and worry about the next things. Some times we need to make the most of where we are — helps me rethink my evening! Thank you

  6. Love, love , love this slice. I would have hoped I was ALWAYS THAT MOMMA; but I know otherwise. Fortunately, I am ALWAYS that VERY GREAT Auntie whose story telling skills are considered to be the very best….there is a story at every bend in the road if you stop to notice.

  7. You found a gem in the middle of a time when you could have become one of the grumpy adults! I loved being nourished by story at NCTE, your slice shows me that there are stories all around me all the time if I just slow down to notice.

  8. Oh this reminds me of times with my own kids. I use to story tell all the time to keep us busy during the “boring” and uncontrollable moments. It was always a challenge because they were always saying, “tell me more.. then what happened?” I’d let them take over when I was all storied out. Never thought of it until now! Thanks for bringing back those memories.

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