#sol15: March 3, 2015: Billy Collins on 17 year olds



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Yesterday, while cleaning out my office, I found an old steno book, the kind we keep by our phone for lists, phone numbers, and quick notes to each other:

“Hope you had a great time at the cast party! Don’t forget to turn off the porch light.”

“We need milk, coffee, eggs, and Haagen Daz.”

“Walking the dog, can’t find my keys, do NOT lock the door on your way out.”

While tearing out old messages like the above, I paused at this one, addressed to a member of our household who  occupies her room infrequently these days:


which brought to mind the poem Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shared on her  Poem Farm Facebook page yesterday:

How do we ever survive those days with our sanity (more or less) intact??!!


28 thoughts on “#sol15: March 3, 2015: Billy Collins on 17 year olds

  1. Oh, I loved that! I wish I’d written that poem! It is so perfect and I am going to share it with everyone I know today. I laughed when I read your note to your daughter, too. Even though my daughters have left home, when they come back for visits, it is the same way–especially the part about “MY socks.” What a great way to start the day. Thank you!

  2. Oh my word. I laughed and laughed at your note and that Billy Collins poem. I made my husband watch it too. Thank you for a marvelous start to my day. I love that you remember those times that way. I look forward to the insanity of a 17 year old daughter in 10 years.

  3. I love Billy Collins. There’s nothing quite like hearing a poet read his own poems.

    I hope you’ve saved that note for later.

  4. What a treasure you have discovered! Then the perfect TED connection. I know that artifacts of earlier life have been discarded by the neat and tidy person who lives with me. This is why I have my piles, so they can be mined, why doesn’t he get that?

  5. How did we survive? A lot of ignoring I think, & then, finally, the note! When I see the faces of my students, sometimes I give a thought to what their parents are going through! Thanks Tara-beautiful poem. Maybe I should share with my parents?

  6. I love finding those moments in time…. I love how your note – while clear ended with humor. I think that is how we keep our sanity in tack more or less. These last two years with my Mom has definitely taught me the importance of remembering to laugh and keep it all in perspective.

  7. Phew! I’m not the only one who has written notes just like this to my kids! Haha!

    I giggled all the way through the note and the video! THANK YOU!

    …I shared the note with my 14 year old and she said it was only missing the part where I say “I’m going to take your clothes and hide them if you don’t put them away!” :0)

  8. Gold, pure gold. That little note scratched out in frustration is now a cute conversation starter and a tool for comfort when this grown up teenager has messy kids of her own. I can so relate to this Tara. They do change though don’t they? Thankfully. Awesome post, a giggling start to my day. Thanks 🙂

  9. My daughter just came home from college for the weekend. Perfect timing to read your post and the poem. Loved it! Good to know it’s universal! Thank you for the laughs at the end of the day.

  10. I loved both “poems” you shared. They speak well of the trials and tribulations of living with those frustrating beings that we love, even though that can be tough at times.

  11. I love it! Laughed out loud at the itemized list. What a treasure–though sometimes it’s hard to see the sparkle in the mad moments and rush of daily life. We are just entering this territory with our eighth grader at my house. Thank you for reminding me to love the mess of it (and to save some notes because boy, that must bring it all –the love and the everything–back).

  12. Before I got to your note to your daughter and before I listened to the poem from Billy Collins, both which I truly enjoyed. But before that two reasons I am such a fan of yours. First just the perfection of a Steno book by the phone to capture all kinds of messages. Then the sheer delight that someone who lives in your house would write “We need milk, coffee, eggs, and Haagen Daz.”

  13. I love this Billy Collins poem, and your note to your daughter. We do love them in spite of all the socks and cereal bowls, though. Because “We think you’re special just being you —”

  14. Tara, Oh. my. gosh. I could have written either of these texts. Love the humor in the steno pad note and then the Billy Collins’ poem had me laughing out loud. I think you and Billy have both been to my house !

  15. Well… this made my night! I am up too late waiting for my teen to come home from watching a big hockey game. I could have written the same note in the steno book. He arrived in time to hear the poem and laughed with me. It is soooo good to know I am not alone! Thank you!

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