Just The Notes

Parenting Notes #637-#640

This week, Krazy Glue keeps the family together, my inability to remember names gets worse, and my kids have hoarder tendencies.

This week, Krazy Glue keeps the family together, my inability to remember names get worse and my kids have hoarder tendencies.

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Parenting Note #637


Pictured is my daughter’s favorite pen. I bought the ballpoint while chaperoning the oldest on a class field trip to an aquarium.

She loves this pen. Not because it writes differently than the thousands of other pens in her “art studio” – a table in her bedroom – but because her dad bought it for her.

My kids are incredibly sentimental. They save Christmas cards with photos of family and friends. Both hang onto the notes I sometimes leave in their lunches.

“Do you remember where I got this,” my son will ask, holding up a keepsake, knowing the answer but wondering if I do too.

I keep journals. Written time capsules.

The kids keep toys, bottle tops, rocks, wrappers, buttons, and even receipts as a means to chronicle a life lived.

Under my computer monitor, an unremarkable rock flanks LEGO minifigs and a pint-sized Undertaker figure.

A gift from my son a few months ago.

I have no idea of the slab’s significance. I feel horrible asking, but I know the mineral signifies some shared moment, so it’ll take up space on the tabletop until forever.

Only the broken horn needed bonding, and the pen is back in her collection.

Adhesive saves the day once again.

She was ecstatic to see her favorite writing utensil looking good as new.

The glue instructions explain the adhesive will work on most surfaces, but what it’s best at reassembling is the motley assemblage of possessions that bind the three of us.

Parenting Note #638


The kids aren’t old enough to pick up on my facial and vocal cues, so they’re clueless to the fact that dad is drowning and needs help staying afloat in a conversation.

“Don’t you remember this person?”

I’ll point, and the kid will look the semi-stranger up and down. He or she looks familiar, but the child has no idea why the face rings a bell.

I remember the person but not sure why, or from where, but they know everything about me, my kid’s name, what I do for work, and every other detail. And not just because I put most of my life on the internet.

There’s a personal past that’s hazy, to me at least, and I’m never good at recognizing people out of their usual element.

I could go into a store a hundred times and recognize a specific employee but put them in a different environment, and I’m wondering…

“How do I know this person?”
“Did we go to school together?”
“Do our kids go to school together?”
“Is he a family member I don’t recall?”

Only to finally have it dawn on me, “oh, no, he works at Staples.”

The kids must think I have hundreds of close friends. Everyone is a bud, pal, bro, dude, or big guy.

If the pseudo-stranger is a woman, there’s a long “heeeeeeeyyyyyyyyy” because calling a woman “dude” seems inconsiderate. Unless we’re incredibly close friends. Then I’ll dude the hell out of her.

I’ve toyed with the idea of keeping a notebook full of names, descriptions, and how/why people are connected so prevent my face from projecting sheer panic at the occasional run-in at CVS.

“Jerry. Kids played soccer together. Kinda looks like D.B. Sweeney. Wears too much Eagles gear.”

“Tina. Facebook friends. Daughter takes dance. Comments on all my articles. Kinda looks like D.B. Sweeney.”

Studying these every time I leave the house sounds like homework and who needs more to do in life?

“I need to run to the grocery store but first let me review all of the possible people who might also be food shopping.”

Option B is bringing it everywhere I go.

What if the book fell into the wrong hands?

“Did you hear that writer guy keeps a notebook about everyone in town? He’s probably going to write a book about all of us someday. It’s kinda creepy, to be honest. Unless it becomes a movie, that would be awesome. Hopefully, the studio can get D.B. Sweeney.”

Parenting Note #639


An elementary school history book displayed an illustration of a child playing with a hoop and a stick.

The hoop in motion as the child pushes it along with the pole, chasing after the ring with a massive smile.

I remember thinking at the time how boring life must be for a kid with a stick and circle. My collection of treasures tucked in a shoebox was so much cooler than a hoop and stick.

Most were found items. A few trinkets were pieces broken off from other toys. Included were expired credit cards, bottle shards Id convinced myself were rare gems, a sheriffs badge from a Disney train ride, unused pellets from a gun, empty plastic medicine bottles, and a woman’s ring.

The ring was a gift from a new kid in school. It belonged to his mom, and he wanted me to have it. This was my explanation to my mother when she saw me wearing it around the house for superhero reasons.

I’m playing Green Lantern.

You’re giving it back.

On the playground the next week, I gave back the ring. I told my new friend, my mom said it looked important that his mom would probably be mad if she knew it was missing.

He shrugged and snatched the ring back.

I don’t remember being friends after that.

Parenting Note #640


Dear kids,

Not everything is done specifically with your entertainment in mind.

Love, parents

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