the ordinary day

My husband just forwarded me an email, sent to him by a law school and golfing buddy, with a YouTube video of Katrina Kenison, the long-time editor of the Best American Short Story series, reading a seven-minute excerpt from her new memoir.

As an antidote to these list-oriented days, I am passing on The Gift of an Ordinary Day:

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10 thoughts on “the ordinary day

  1. Oh, what a beautiful piece! As the mother of four grown sons, I related on every point. And, yes, those perfectly ordinary days passed by all too quickly.

    Thank you for sharing this, Cynthia.


    • Linda, what drew me in were those first lines:

      “You think the life you have right now is the only one there is, the one that’s going to last forever…”

      And I did/do. I remember back to not being able to see over having to always go outside with the kids. How I could have thought that would last forever I don’t know. I’m probably doing the same thing right now. The trick, I guess, is to be in the moment and yet see beyond it, see it as a moment.

      I didn’t know you have four sons; I have three : )


  2. At first I found it sappy, especially with the sentimental music, but then I was sucked into it so completely that I felt teary when we learned that it was her son playing the piano. I kept waiting for something horrible to happen before I realized the story was about the good things and holding onto what we have. My favorite part was about the missing photos, those most special but ordinary moments that aren’t photographed.

    Running around like crazy catering to the needs and a tween and teen, it was helpful to be told to cherish the moments. My favorite years weren’t the baby/toddler ones. I seem to enjoy my children more with each coming year (if not all the driving!)

    Kenison reads very well. Thanks for sharing.


    • Sarah, on the sappiness issue, I went back and forth. From being shocked that this was the same Katrina Kenison who trolled the literary journals for the absolute best stories of the year from which that year’s editor would choose the best of the best to being so touched that I could hardly see the pictures flashing by.

      I also kept waiting for something horrible to be disclosed. Isn’t it revealing that an ode to the ordinary would suggest that something bad had happened?

      I almost mentioned her son’s piano playing in the post then decided that was a nice reveal at the end.

      And I agree. Kenison does read well.


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