The Things We Carry

I carry a baby on a hip and a toddler’s hand in mine.

I carry a diaper bag with diapers and a change of clothes that fits either daughter (hopefully only one of them will have an accident or spill something or fall down in the mud and require clean clothes today) and snacks (to keep them quiet in the car or at church) and a sippy cup and wipes and diaper cream.

The Things We Carry: a writing exercise (with a picture of a man carrying paint brushes)The Things We Carry: a writing exercise (with a picture of a man carrying paint brushes)

I carry a purse with my wallet and keys and hand cream and business cards, in case I run into someone who asks “what do you do” and then, when I say I am a mom and a writer and they ask “what do you write,” I can hand them a business card.  See my blog.  Proof that I carry ideas, information, insight as well as guilt for spending time on the computer while they play and fear about whether my toddler will stay beside me at the grocery store and love for these two bits of myself who amaze and amuse me.

I carry my coffee mug and my daughter’s favorite stuffed Lambie and the coat cast off by my daughter and the worry that she’ll get too cold or too hot or too hungry or too lonely or too old too fast.

I carry plastic cards that let me spend money, save money, read books, exercise, earn points, drive my 7-passenger minivan, pay taxes, see a doctor, ride transit, research the archives, and donate blood.

I carry granola bars and “squoosh” applesauce packs and allergy-free snacks to prevent hangry kids (or moms) and gum to freshen my breath when I’m out running errands and sometimes a chocolate bar to brighten my own mood.

I carry my sense of myself as a mom, a wife, a woman, a writer, a friend, a daughter.

I carry my dreams of traveling to exotic new places and writing a bestselling novel and teaching my daughters to play violin.

I carry these and many other things, because I am a mom.


This post came from a writing workshop hosted by Island Parent magazine.  Over twenty ladies showed up to meet the editors and learn more about writing for the magazine.  During the workshop, we shared ideas, talked about finding time to write as parents, and did a short writing exercise from the prompt “the things we carry.”

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  1. Koala Bear Writer June 27, 2011
  2. EmilyatLarge June 22, 2011

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