The year Jane was 4 was one of the best years of my life simply because Jane announced nearly every day, “This is the BEST day of my life!” It didn’t take much to make it the best day–a trip to the pool, a slurpee from 7-11, or a new set of markers. One of her favorite activities that year was drawing and coloring princesses, complete with tiaras, long eyelashes, and high heels. She loved to color while I made dinner.

One particular afternoon, I wrestled an oven-stuffer chicken in the sink. I washed it and reached inside to remove the neck, gizzard, heart, and whatever a giblet is. I held it by the legs under the running water, filling up the cavity with water and dumping it out. Over and over, filling it up and dumping it out. The water ran cold as I removed the last of the innards.

The chicken was almost ready to stuff. Jane knelt on the kitchen chair at the table working hard on a princess.  After several minutes of working on our separate tasks, Jane said matter-of-factly, “I don’t know about you mom, but I sure do feel bad for that chicken.”  She never looked up or stopped coloring but her four-year old compassion touched me.  I have not made a chicken since without remembering that day.  It was one of the BEST days of my life.

7 thoughts on “March 2, 2014

  1. Out of the mouths of babes. Great quote to remember forever.
    You also made me long for those days of “drawing and coloring princesses, complete with tiaras, long eyelashes, and high heels”. Those were the days.

  2. Two things come to mind when I read your slice.
    One is how wonderful it would be to have as an adult the outlook of a 4-year-old. To view every day as the best day ever would simply be lovely. Instead, most days I approach with dread. Why? Because I have to work, have to go here or there, have to do this or that. But to encounter each day and every event as new and interesting…that is special. Your slice reminds me that I should attempt to do so.
    Second is the truth and humor that comes from the innocence of childhood. Your daughter was so right. It would be terrible to be that chicken! She only knows a small part of why that chicken’s life was so miserable, yet she is spot on in her assessment.
    Great slice!

  3. They are always watching. I love the empathy she knew at such a tender age. Future vegan! 🙂

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