Writing the truth


Ernest Hemingway once said that it is the writer’s job to tell the truth. In A Moveable Feast, he describes his process:

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

I am sharing here one of the truest pieces of writing I have ever seen.

The background: When he was small, our younger son often went with my husband to church early on Sunday mornings. The little fellow sat in the church office and busied himself with writing sticky notes that he delivered to me on my arrival.

I saved them – they’re all in the bottom of my jewelry box.

This one is my favorite. As you can see, the note says “I like my mom.”

Not love, mind you . . . .

But this is a two-pager (see the staples?). The sentence continues on Page Two:


“I like my mom – most of the time.”

I ask: Has a truer sentence ever been written?


17 thoughts on “Writing the truth

  1. Perfectly structured slice–from the initial quote, through the background and to the final twist (second page! No, I hadn’t noticed the staple!). Simply perfect! What unexpected treasures your jewelry box holds!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, the treasures you will receive! I think of Donald Graves in Children Want to Write, how children so enjoy making their own marks in the attempt to express themselves. Graves says: “We wanted to write before we ever wanted to read.” Many times this is lost with all the emphasis on receiving information vs. generating and expressing it, once kids start school. Your little one is blessed to have you there to keep the love of writing alive!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! It’s so relatable to parents of small children. My favorite thing my almost-three year old has said to me is, “You my friend mama.” Those moments of appreciation offset the times he yells at me, “I no like you mama!” Thanks for giving me an idea for something to slice about later this month!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This just made me smile. 😀 What a treasure! My son wrote “mom” for the first time a few weeks ago (he just turned 5) and i don’t think I’ve ever been more proud. I love the stapled pages–sounds like this holds some special memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hoped others would enjoy this. It’s just too true! How sweet about your son writing “mom” – I bet he’s so proud of that himself. My son doesn’t recall writing this particular note but recognizes his handwriting and cracked up when I showed it to him. Worth more than gold.


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