Daughter #1 is graduating high school on Saturday. What a journey! For fun, I’m copying an experimental blog post I wrote when I was a newbie writer, five years ago, after my daughter turned thirteen. I plan on giving this to her for a graduation gift, something she can take with her and keep forever–because, we always need a Mom. Enjoy!
Dear Teen Daughter,
(I’m not posting your picture because I know you’d be angry that I shared it with every human, entity, and crumb that composes the Milky Way galaxy. (Especially because every single one of them reads my blog.) And just so you know, you DON’T look stupid.)
I’m writing you a list of the
ten eleven most important things I want you to stow in the depths of your DNA, because in a matter of years you won’t be one amongst four who love you with all their hearts, but one amongst millions billions who don’t give a crap about your heart.
1. So why don’t we start with heartbreak? It will kill, crush, and pulverize you. You’ll cry yourself drier than
the Sahara, road trips with Dad so we don’t have to stop and pee, and then some more. Give yourself time to weep, but then move on. Immerse yourself in something new (like pickle making) and get back into life. Give those pickles to a new, cuter, smarter guy.
2. You are smart. Remember that. Even when you stick your foot in your mouth, the whole world won’t think you’re stupid. They’ll think you’re human. But as I say, just because we’re smart, it doesn’t mean we don’t do stupid things.
3. Be human: care about everyone. I mean care about EVERYONE. From the Donald Trumps to the Donald Ducks, the homeless and the toothless, the hut dwellers and the tent aboders. They’re human and have the same emotional and physical needs that you do.
4. Don’t ask permission. Ex. Don’t ask, “Can I go to the mall?”, rather say those same words in a statement: “To the mall I can go.” If you give the world the option to say no, they will.
5. Protect your assets. Yes, I meant to say that. This includes your body, your brain, your spirit, and your integrity. DO NOT allow criticism, including your own, to break down your guard.
6. Aim high. Not the weed kind of high, the expectations kind of high, with guys, school, work, friends, and happiness. You’re worth it.
7. Be creative. Creativity solves problems. Unless it’s me sewing. That actually creates problems. Whatever your version of my sewing is, just avoid it.
8. Love animals. A person’s capacity to care for humans can be determined by how they treat animals. Eating certain animals doesn’t count in this. Just look at poor toothless Gator. He loves you so much.
9. Be good at finding things. Females are generally the ones who have to find everything, including finding something good in a person everyone hates. Remember how you found your sister’s tooth for the tooth fairy in the garbage can with spaghetti all over? Keep doing that.
10. Travel the world. It’s a big, big place and you’re likely to get lost, especially when you need to use a bathroom really, really badly. The more you travel, the more you’ll know your place in the world. It just might be a place with a bidet.
11. Love nature. Trees are really great at helping people think, at least for me. Remember how you wore your skateboard helmet at the Bison Range because you were
scared terrified mortified of mountain lions? Do what you have to do to enjoy nature. She is a curer of every ill.
(OK, I know I said I wouldn’t put up your picture, but this was years ago and you’re both so cute. Sophie looks devious with her deadly blade of grass.)