“Always follow your dream! Unless it’s the one where you’re at school in your underwear during a fire drill.”
~Friday Letter to my Kids~
Dear J, J, L and L,
That joke illustrates how I feel about advice. I’ve never liked the one about following your dreams especially. I have some pretty bizarre dreams!
When you started fleeing the nest I promised myself one thing:
“I will not give my grown children advice.”
Maybe, if you asked for it, then I would venture an opinion. Maybe. Otherwise, my lips stay sealed, my tongue unmoved, my pen silent.
If my parenting served you well at all, my advice got hardwired into you as you grew. Any nagging, suggestions or ideas I might throw out at this point in the game act as so much dust on the wind.
Honestly, y’all outdo me so far as parents, as spouses, as decent people in general. By time I was your age, clueless and flailing best describe how I navigated life. Scary thought.
What little advice or tidbits I’ve gleaned and could pass on over the years hang on the walls in my house or I simply live it.
(Except for the bit about you getting adequate education and being fully prepared to support yourself and your family, male or female. Maybe you learned that more from life’s hard knocks. I’m certain I also hammered it in verbally during particularly trying seasons and episodes of our ongoing dramedy.)
Y’all already get it. I think I just need to reassure myself that I actually taught you something. So here’s some of the advice I’m hoping you learned before rocketing into the jetstream of adulthood, in no particular order:
- Laugh every single day if you can.
- Sing often and off-key if necessary.
- Kindness matters more than you know.
- Back door friends are the best and necessary.
- Learn to say no if you need to, and yet…
- Pay attention to and follow that gut instinct you get about certain things.
- Say yes when you can…
- Mom loves you forever and always.
- Family comes first.
- Count blessings daily.
- Learn as much as you can.
- Read, read, read.
- People outrank stuff every time.
- When you’re lost or uncertain, look at a map.
- Love much and deeply.
I’m glad you’ve busted free of some of the not so good behaviors (i.e. bad advice) you could have picked up from growing up as a child of mine. For instance…
You’re all waaaaaay better than me at:
- living organized
- having less clutter
- managing your money
- getting educated
- making friends
- working as a team with your spouse
- kindness and generosity
- being like a duck (little things stay little things)
- sticking to your goals
Basically you’re exceeding my wildest hopes and expectations. I couldn’t be prouder of or happier for each of you.
You make my promise to never give advice an easy one to keep. You don’t need any advice. You’ve got this. No worries.
Love ya tons,
“I always advise people never to give advice.” ~ P.G. Wodehouse
“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.” ~ Douglas Adams
“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.” ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay