It was an ordinary summer day as my mom hung the wash out to dry.  The wind whipped the sheets on the clothesline as I rode my tricycle back and forth beneath them.  Mom hummed while she worked, and I filed away a memory.

On another ordinary summer day we were stopped in traffic in Chicago.  It was the early 1970s; Bozo the Clown was a celebrity with preschoolers in the city. My young nephew had the entire car in stitches as he insisted it was Bozo in the car ahead of us silhouetted against the bright sun instead of a man with bushy hair and a ball cap.  In a matter of months we would all learn that this funny little guy had cancer and was in for an uphill battle.  Then we longed for ordinary days.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary the afternoon I walked into a friend’s apartment.  There on the couch sat a young man with brown eyes and a warm smile.  That smile still warms my heart three decades later.

It was completely routine to have my children playing on the kitchen floor as I made dinner.  There was music and laughter.  There were bills to pay and dishes to wash; baths to take and bedtime stories to tell.  All of it so ordinary.

The thing about ordinary is that it sometimes takes a while to realize how completely extraordinary it truly is.



About may

I am a married mother of three fabulous young adults. I have been married to one great guy for over a quarter of a century and hope we haven't reached the halfway point of our marriage yet. Writing helps me sort things out and allows me to avoid unsavory tasks that I probably should be doing. I've reached middle age in middle America and am anxious to see what comes next.
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7 Responses to Ordinary

  1. This is simply wonderful, May. And your last line is just right.

  2. Yup. Totally true. Sometimes I find myself just sitting and staring at the Hub and Zilla as we do whatever it is we’re doing…because I want to remember every single little ordinary thing.

  3. I felt the same about this prompt. Ordinary is really most extraordinary.

  4. carol says:

    It’s amazing how we look back on memories and events in our lives that we think were so ordinary at the time… yet, when clearly seen in the present is truly amazing and very extraordinary! I love the way you can express these emotions and put them into words. So extraordinary, May!

  5. Mary Ann says:

    It’s funny how those “ordinary” moments stick in our memories! Nice post.

  6. Kat says:

    YOU are so good!! Every moment you shared carried an extraordinary punch. So beautifully written.

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