family

Prompt: Favorites

The prompt this week was on favorites. Do you have the experience of being the favorite child? When raising children, it’s hard to be equal. Did you end up having a favorite even though you didn’t know it at the time. What does favoritism do to a family and relationships? What about work? Are there favorites at work, the ones the boss always turns to for help or wisdom? How can we treat others, even our own family, equally?

Write whatever comes to you on this topic.

The Round Tuit

The following was written by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, based upon the prompt about “someday.”

My father brought home a plaque one day and hung it on the wall in the kitchen. We children stood around it and admired its shiny wood finish engraved with a wood burning tool with the words in burnt black letters, “tuit.”

“What is it?” My brother David asked in wonder.

“It’s a tuit.”

“What’s a twit?” My youngest sister, Cheryl asked with a lisp.

“Tu-it,” Janet corrected. “Toooo-it.”

“Twwwwwuuuu-it. Twit.”

“No, toooooo-it-it-it.”

“Twwwwwwooooo – ”

“Cut it out,” I poked both of them. “Dad, what’s a tuit?”

He leaned in toward us kids huddled in the kitchen, our eyes glued to the round wooden plaque. “This isn’t just any tuit. It’s a round tuit. I always told myself I’d get a round tuit and I finally did. Aren’t you proud of me?”

We turned our gaze from the plaque to him, and he waited.

David got it first and let out a moan, then I, then Janet. Cheryl needed it explained to her. It took about a week, but she finally got round tuit.

Prompt: Expectations of Fathers

The prompt this week is on upcoming Father’s Day holiday.

The role of a father has changed over the years. The impact of fathers is legendary throughout history. We often talk about “father figures” in our lives. Many feel “less than” because they were raised without a father or by an absent or distant father. Others had different father experiences, ones of abuse. Have you ever thought of how an abused child responds to a traditional prayer, “Our Father.”

Fathers have had many stereotypes over the years, such as the television show, “Father Knows Best,” or struggle with the impact of the father-figure of Bill Cosby, now that he, the person and actor, is charged with crimes.

We have changed who we think we are as women. How has men’s attitudes about themselves, their perspectives on fatherhood, changed? Expectations have also changed about father behaviors.

Write about fathers, personally or conceptually.

Our Holiday Disaster

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Debby White. She is an active member of the Vernonia Library group in Vernonia, Oregon.

Gertrude blew a strand of hair from her face as she peeled the small mountain of potatoes destined for mashing. She gave a quick glance to the clock on the oven. Ten a.m. The day’s agenda ran through her mind as the peeler continued to work it’s way through the mound. The turkey will be ready in an hour, kids and grandkids should arrive any minute. Dinner rolls should go in the oven in about forty five minutes. Harry, her husband of 30 years, was watching a loud Thanksgiving day football game in the living room, making an appearance in the kitchen only when he needed a warm up for his coffee.

Outside the wind whipped the rain around frequently throwing it against the windows, tree branches swaying as if throwing a tantrum.

“Quite a storm out there.” Gertrude jumped. Harry chuckled behind her. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, reaching for the coffee pot to fill his cup for the fifth or sixth time.

Gertrude sighed, “I hope we don’t lose power. The turkey still needs almost another hour in the oven, then there’s the dinner rolls. Lots of food in the fridge that could go bad if the electricity’s out for a long time.”

“Don’t panic, honey,” Harry patted her shoulder. “Remember that’s why we spent all that money on the generator. Out here in the boondocks we lose power at the drop of a hat. With the generator life goes on as usual.”

They both turned at the sound of voices in the entryway. Seconds later they had little grandchildren arms wrapped around their legs. Sadie, their oldest daughter, planted a kiss first on Gertrude’s cheek then Harry’s. “Jack and Nikki drove up behind us,” Sadie said of her brother and his wife. “Nate is helping them carry stuff in.” Nate being Sadie’s husband.

Minutes later the women and children were gathered in the kitchen and the guys convened in the living room to finish watching the football game. Gertrude finished peeling the potatoes and Sadie and Nikki set the table while dodging little Nate and Jillian. Suddenly, everything went black. From the living room a chorus of “Hey, what happened?” was heard as the TV went blank. Gertrude raced into the living room, with a panicked look on her face. “We’ve lost power!” she exclaimed. (more…)

Mourning

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, D.K. Lubarsky.

I cannot mourn in front of my children,
I cannot share the sorrows and tears of age and illness
Nor cry from the depth of my heart
Nor speak of the profound and lingering losses
I cannot tell them of the pain I feel at times
They do not want me to know

I cannot mourn with my children
They choose not to see the shriveled arms and shuffling gate
“You are fine,” they sing in their frantic dance of life
“You underestimate yourself,” they call over their shoulders
As they race through sunny fields, flying off to catch their young
Leaving me far behind in their wake

Confident full-fledged adults, with steam engine powered muscles
Their throttles smashed forward against infinity
They recognize on some transient level, I suppose
That I am something else
A specter of the mother they once had
Tho’ purposely not examined too closely
For then they might have to acknowledge their proximity of loss
In their world of distant horizons

So I cannot mourn my losses with my children
But I thank God for my friends
Equal in age and weariness
We sit around the table stacking our wounds like poker chips
Unashamed confessions
Tethered with nods and sighs, handclasps and hugs

Learning from one another how to step forward
How to keep laughing
In spite of it all
To appreciate simple pleasures
And each other

We grieve and giggle on the same breath
Then breathe, grieve, and giggle once more.

And at day’s end
I come away stronger for their strength
So that I can return to the children I adore and listen as they say
“See, I told you that you were okay.”
Never comprehending how close to the edge
I was when first awakening to morning’s light

But perhaps I am better off
Being able to glean from their perspective
Knowing that for now, this very moment,
I truly am okay.

November 13 Prompt – Family

The following prompt is from one of our Writers in the Grove members for our NaNoWriMo prompt-a-day project for November 2016.

The prompt today is family.

What does family mean to your character? Is family a core part of your story? Who represents family to your characters?

Check out our list of prompts for even more inspiration.