I don’t have many memories of school.  I do remember in elementary school showing up for my baseball game only wearing socks.  I do remember in middle school always being reminded of homework and then trying to complete it on the bus.  I do remember day after day in high school running to my locker in a panic to get books and assignments that I forgot for classes.  All my life I have been forgetful.


One of the memories seared into my head as a child happened as I was leaving the bathroom at the Yale Bowl.  My dad looked down at me and said, “boy, you would forget that thing in the bathroom if it wasn’t attached.”


This morning a teacher walked in and asked if I had the schedule for the day.  After I said no, she reminded me that she gave me two the day before.  The kids know to never tell me anything and expect me to remember it.  At the end of the day, I can sometimes have a series of notes attached to my laptop that they placed there to remind me of things they told me.


I tell anyone who hands me a piece of paper that there is pretty much no hope that I will know where the paper will be the next day (yes, google drive is a savior to me).


I used to feel really bad about my forgetfulness.


I fell really bad when teachers bring up kids and talk about how they are disorganized, messy, and forgetful.  In the last few years I have entered the conversation by saying “I am that kid.”   If you could only see my view right now as I look down at my desk…


I have two filing cabinets in my classroom that are full.  Of what?  I do not know.


By most definitions of the word, I have had a successful life.  I have finally figured out some tricks.  The note system for my kids that are left on my laptop, finally utilizing Google calendar (most of the time), and of course writing notes between my thumb and index fingers so I see them when I drive, and if that doesn’t work I’ll see the note again when I eat.


I have a daughter who is forgetful.  She shared this with me tonight.


Writers are forgetful,
but they remember everything.
They forget appointments and anniversaries,
but remember what you wore,
how you smelled,
on your first date…
They remember every story you’ve ever told them –
like ever,
but forget what you’ve just said.
They don’t remember to water the plants
or take out the trash,
but they don’t forget how
to make you laugh.
Writers are forgetful
they’re busy
the important things.


And I have this note on my desk right now, if you have any idea why I am supposed to be calling my dad please let me know 🙂


  1. It was strange seeing me described in something you wrote. My students, the school secretary…my family… joke about my forgetfulness. But I easily recognize the child from 15 years ago in the adult face I see today-even adults grown along with me from my elementary school years in the school I moved away from in sixth grade…, and can almost always attach a name and something of “their story”. The notes, the tricks…all of it. My oldest daughter (16) is the same.

  2. I think there must be a photo of my husband that goes with this piece of writing, but I guess you must have lost it…
    Glad to see his photo tag with his reply *Dan McConnell.

    Indeed he can never find his keys or his wallet. And he has to be reminded multiple times each day when he is responsible to pick the kids up from school.

    But most importantly he never forgets the anniversary of the day we met, what I was wearing and what I supposedly said. I think he recalls me saying, “You’re so handsome, I’m going to marry you!” At least that’s what he tells our three girls everytime he tells the story.

    I just wish he would remember where he lost MY car key…

    1. So funny—I clicked to reply to your comment. At the same time my wife opened up an envelope with a check from someone who was repaying us for something I purchased on my credit card. I told her it was the wrong amount and I’ll call them. She “reminded” me about our conversation last week and how it was in fact the right amount 🙂

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