May 17, 2012

a note to my children:

cartoons were just on Saturday mornings
with Froot Loops
and the whole family couldn’t miss
Cosby or Simon and Simon.
We would sit there
with no reality.

I got the first Nintendo
and it was Christmas
and Cousin Angie and Mama
played Mario for a week straight
and then your Bapa and me,
we would play every evening
while Nanny and Auntie Shelly
rolled their eyes.

Mario came in a cartridge and we never bought more games.
We just saved the princess over and over
and then tried to do it without losing even one life
or other rules we made up.

Guess what
we didn’t have computers
until I was a teen and then there was still NO INTERNET.

When Grandpa Glenn’s dog died that I loved he had two choices
call me
write me
not an email, but a letter
and so he did, it was easier for him.
I got off the bus and got the mail and walked
the gravel drive while opening the letter
and I knew before I read the words
paper in hand
with beloved handwriting
and I was so sad and held it to my chest.

We didn’t find out anything on facebook or twitter.

On car trips we played I Spy
read books
did Mad Libs
played M.A.S.H.
listened to Wilson Phillips on a tape.

what’s a tape?
I’ll show you sometime.

Even in college when someone needed to talk to me
they left a message on my answering machine
and that was like voicemail.
I got it when I got it and called back when I called back
because when I was out I was out.

I think this is why I say no to a DS
and send you outside
and tell you to shut off the TV
and why we play I Spy
and maybe even why we have chickens
and why I run through the sprinkler with you.

Because I’m sorry you missed the old days.


Another note to my children: Please


Erin May 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

This is perfection. I hope as J grows I can instill as much of the old days in him as possibly. Because nothing was better than saving the princess in the original Nintendo Mario or playing mad libs with my brothers on the way to the beach. Even I get so lost in the digital world, these memories get foggy. Thanks for the reminder :)

Sue M May 17, 2012 at 8:25 am

Oh, I love you. This is wonderful. Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
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lissa May 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

love, love, love. A million times YES.
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barb May 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

Lovely. Really lovely.
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Sara May 17, 2012 at 8:47 am

I love this, because I remember all this and struggle with being connected all the time. I want my kids to love outside and reading and together time, and I want them to understand what it is to wait and look forward to something instead of everything being on demand.

Heather May 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

Yes! One of the biggest things I miss and miss for my kids is looking forward to something. I know it’s just TV, but I can remember waiting and waiting to watch Cosby :) And it brought us together, the waiting and excitement.

Varda (Squashed Mom) May 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

This is so beautiful and so perfect. and I’m even older than you – no answering machines, no videotape. No Nintendo. Pong – the very first video game ever came out when I was a teen. I played pool & pinball at arcades. and tv? 8 channels because we lived in new York and had SO MANY. (Most folks had 2 or 3) And ours was black & white until I was 16 (color tvs were expensive)

The Good Old days indeed.
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Heather May 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

Yes! That was true when I was younger–I vaguely remember :) Pong and no answering machine, etc. We had very few channels, too. Out in the country. I didn’t think I was missing anything. *sigh*

Jacki May 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

Oh, I remember all those days. I also say no to DS. My son asks if he can have one when he is 12, 14, 16. I say 16 and I will think about it, but he will have to buy it.

I am still very proud of the fact that we drove from central Iowa to Devil’s Tower and back with not one piece of electronics (except the car cd player) and we only heard “are we there yet” about 3 hours from home on the very last day.
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Lydia May 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

Oh wow. That’s beautiful. Man, Wilson Phillips and Mario. Good memories!
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Kim May 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

Oh I know this feeling SO well. I miss the old days too.

Wilson Phillips..New Kids on the Block, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, The Jets. Yeah..good times ;)
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tracy@sellabitmum May 17, 2012 at 9:25 am

…and now I don’t feel like such a mean mom. Thank you! Love this. xoxo
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Kelly V May 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

I love this! Answering machines, Wilson Phillips, and Mario…reminds me of some time we spent together! ;-) I think I had your WP CD for years after we were roommates. Just had to Hold On, I guess!

So far P doesn’t even know we own a TV, hoping to keep it that way for as long as I can, because there are so many memories to make in such a short window if time! Get outside is right!

shayla May 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

love! i was just talking to my friend last night about when i was a kid and i would hurry up and eat my dinner so fast every night so i could run back outside and play until bedtime.

this is why, when i’m finally a mama, i might go live in the woods-like the good old days. ;)
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Sara May 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

So many memories! Wonderful thoughts for our children.
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Laura @ Hollywood Housewife May 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I couldn’t have said any of this better. This is just exactly how I feel, as a parent and as a person, every day.

Maybe every generation does?
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Robin May 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I really appreciate the sentiment behind your post. I am a bit older than you, so it was my children who got the first Nintendo (I had pong). There is something quite different about getting a letter, as opposed to an e-mail or a text message. I miss letters in the mail. I still have many letters saved in shoe boxes. For a long while, I printed out e-mail messages – my attempt to treasure my electronic letters. Now I just send and receive them, and save them (like all of my photos – they are just stuck in my laptop).

Playing outside; really interacting with your family (or friends) – YES!!! And when the TV isn’t on, and kids are free to run and play, experience nature (and in your case, chickens), it can inspire a creative imagination. Exploring the real world :) Beautiful!
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Karen May 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

This brings back so many memories! There are some things that will be hard to explain to my kids like VHS tapes and typewriters. I don’t own either anymore. Now I know why I always thought my grandparents were old.
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Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) May 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

this might be my favorite post of yours ever.
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Marlowe May 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

This spoke to my nostalgic nature! How I wish I had a time machine to take my children back to those days :)
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Emma May 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

This is so great. Yes!

And the only way to talk to your friends outside of school was in person, or on the phone.

And the phone was attached to a CORD…..and usually located somewhere central. So if one wanted to have a private conversation, one would have to stretch that cord as long as it could go, around the corner and out of the kitchen….

Elaine May 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

This makes me a bit sad and oh so very nostalgic. Especially for those handwritten letters. What a loss that is these days, truly.
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Diane Turner May 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Spectacular, nostalgic, sweet. Oh for a lovely handwritten note from someone I care about.
Thanks for a trip down the old lane.

Katybeth May 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

What a great list…I miss someone calling to talk to me because they want to chat opposed to be being “car fill” ….but I also love
texting my teen to tell him to do something and missing the “tone.” He likes that too.
Allowing my teen more freedom because he has more check-in options.
Being able to talk to my parents who live miles away every day because long distance is so reasonable.
Sharing pictures with friends and family and keeping up to date with their lives even if it is sometimes if it is superficial
Reading your blog and hearing about your chickens, and children….or children and chickens :-D.

More and More I am learning to appreciate the balance of the old and the new.
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Julia May 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Oh the good old days, I think I still have Wilson Phillips on tape somewhere. I just love this post.
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Angie May 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Oh the memories… many of my best I shared with you!! I was just explaining to my daughter what a cassette tape was last night at a garage sale! We recently discussed Saturday morning cartoons and the fact that it was really our only opportunity to watch cartoons. It was an eagerly anticipated event. Her response to limited cartoons was WHAT DID YOU DO THEN??? Sad. I told her I used to play all the time with friends, neighbors, cousins and even alone. Between the pressures of elementary school homework and activities, where has the playing gone? It makes me so sad. And truly, it’s amazing that we didn’t ruin our eyes staring at Super Mario Bros. on Grandma & Grandpa’s little TV in the kitchen for that long!! Love you cousin!! You’re always spot on. Angie

Adventures in Babywearing May 18, 2012 at 6:09 am

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Jennifer May 18, 2012 at 6:55 am

I love this, Heather! I’ve thought of writing something similar to my kids about my childhood, so I can read it to them when they become teenagers or {gasp!} pre-teens. I’m nervous about how technology will get in the way and make things harder {and more dangerous} when my kids get old enough to use it. But, then I remind myself that there are more important things to worry about and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Right now I need to focus on more books and puzzles and tower building. Speaking of, there is an impressive fire engine station being built in my family room and I should go assist in the assembly. <3
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nicole May 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

Love this. We just got two DSs this Christmas. One for the girls to share and one for the boys to share. Happily they still ask before they start playing and they know it is limited. We have yet to have TV in the car and likely never will. I’m trying to not be available by phone all the time even if people expect me to (of course, I’m not exactly important and don’t have tons of calls and so on). I think we can embrace technology without it taking over. Thanks for sharing this and making me think about long road trips playing the alphabet game and car bingo and so on.
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Tracie May 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

Yes. Just, yes.
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The Mommy Psychologist May 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

We saved the princess too! Oh, Mario and Luigi! My son has never seen a VCR or a VCR tape. Nor does he know what a walkman is or that you actually used to put in tapes to play music. Loved this post! Put a nice smile on my face to go with my Sunday morning coffee.
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6512 and growing May 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Loved this. I bought an atari with my own money in 6th grade and I’m scared of what my kids will find on the internet as they get older. I’m scared for them to even know that the internet and all it’s fathomlessness exists.

But, I will say, being musically inept as we are, my kids believe music comes from a boom box, because in our family it does.
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Tiffany May 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I try to remind them of this alllll the time. They gasp in horror…but I hope they understand that I just want them to enjoy the little things b/c that’s what it’s all about.
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Sidnie May 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

Love. Love. Love.


In these days of computers and internet, and for us, overseas living, I find I’ve forgotten how to write with a pen or pencil. It’s sad.
I miss my pretty handwriting.

I’m off to turn the tv off… and turn some music on.
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