front row support

Saturday I did something that I never thought I would: I stood up in front of a crowd in a bookstore and read a piece of my own published work.

When the other contributors were arranging the readings across the country, I volunteered to join the one in Goshen, Indiana. I figured I would drive the two hours alone, do the reading, grab some food, and come home just in time to help with bedtime.  As the date got closer, Cortney suggested we make it a family event. He knew I was sort of nervous and he wanted to be there for me.

So a couple days before the event, we decided to all go.

While Charlie acted like a typical two-year old who had been in the car for two hours and was now strapped in a stroller, Eddie was amazing for someone who is not yet five.

Apparently, Cortney took him aside that morning and talked to him about what we were going to be doing. He asked Eddie if he knew what it meant to “support” someone. He explained that mommy would be nervous and would do a better job if they were there to tell her she was going to be great, give her thumbs up, and listen to her. This entire conversation happened without my knowledge.

What I saw was a cranky two-year old, a husband who wanted to keep him quiet, but still see his wife, and an almost-five-year old sitting by himself, front and center waiting to hear his momma read her story. Charlie was being a bit beastly, so Cortney took him for a walk, but Eddie stayed with me. He told me that it was Ok if I messed up because I would still be his best mommy.

While Cortney pushed the stroller around outside and in the back of the book store, Eddie sat quietly through the first two readers. Every now and then he would make eye contact with me and flash me a huge smile, give me a thumbs up, or mouth “I love you” to me.

When it was my turn to read, he smiled and intently watched me. I introduced myself, my piece, and explained that after all the heartache of losing pregnancies, my biggest fan was born, and that he was in the front row. He beamed.

I read my piece (and Cortney was able to hear 3/4 of it regardless of Charlie’s antics), and Eddie clapped the loudest.

When all was said and done and we were driving home, I thought about my Eddie. He took the idea of supporting those we love to his heart and really applied it. He acted years older than his almost five years.

I wonder often what my children will remember when they are this young.

Will he remember sitting and listening to his mommy tell the story about losing her pregnancy? Did he understand any of the stories he heard that day? I saw him paying attention. I wonder what was going through his mind.

Is this just the first time he will listen to his mother tell her stories, or was it a one shot?

For all the questions and thoughts I have about Eddie being there on Saturday, I know that he learned an important lesson about being there for those you love. He learned that lifting them up helps them accomplish what they want to do.

When I think about Saturday, the thing I am most proud of is not my published writing, not that I stood up and read something that was hard to write, but that my boy stuck by me and loved me through it all.

2014-06-07 17.18.10

We are always talking about our marriage and family as being a team effort. I think Eddie is really starting to learn that he is a very important member of that team.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. That is so freaking sweet. I love the whole thumbs up and telling you that he loves you. Sweet babe.

  2. So awesome, Katie. It’s so great when you see the qualities you try and instill come to light. Eventually Charlie will get it too because you guys are such awesome parents.

  3. That is just the sweetest. I’m a little teary, actually. He has such a big heart, just like his mama.

  4. I have tears in my eyes. That is amazing. Eddie is amazing. CORT is amazing.

  5. Y’all are certainly an awesome team! This is so sweet!

  6. Awwww. Eddie is the best, truly. He’s such a reflection of the great job you and Cort have done so far.

  7. Oh. My. Goodness. How sweet is he?! To have your child be proud of you – is there any greater compliment?

  8. That is so sweet1

  9. Oh, so awesome! I love that you all went together and you felt all the love and support. I can picture him smiling and giving you thumbs up. :C)

  10. Standing Ovation for each one of you!
    I love thinking of our babies being our biggest cheerleaders. It makes the bad days better and the good days extraordinary.

    So proud of you, so happy for you. xoxo

  11. I think it’s really awesome that your husband taught Eddie about what it means to support you. So special.

  12. You are his best mommy.
    Oh my.

    Don’t EVER doubt the incredible job you’re doing raising little men who will make the world a better place.
    Love this story. Times a million.

    And it’s SO not a one-time shot.

  13. This is so sweet. We are there for our kids no matter what, but it is so very special when they step up and are there for us too. I love motherhood.

  14. Oh, I love this. I bet he will remember the day when he supported his mom as she read her story to an audience in the bookstore. And he will remember how proud he felt that day.