My kids both have summer birthdays, and as they grow up, I hope I can teach them (and myself) these things:
- Chocolate is like a Super Hero; it really can save the day most days.
- There is a God. You are never, ever alone.
- You must be kind (even to yourself).
- Extending grace is one thing; putting up with being mistreated is another, but forgiving is healing.
- Education can never be taken from you. Learn, learn, learn.
- People all have their own bullshit; it is seldom about you. That’s a hard one, but I will help you with this; we can keep working on this together.
- Books are your friends. A well-read person is a force to be reckoned with.
- If you marry, marry for love. Let me repeat that: marry for love. And now, marriage is for all. Consider it a gift.
- And, love isn’t always roses and champagne. It can be super hard work.
- And sometimes, it’s okay to run—run from a job you hate, a relationship, marriage, or friendship that sucks, or even just around the block, as fast as you can. I’m not that kind of runner, but you sure can be.
- It’s okay to cry; it is not a sign of weakness.
- We all need friends; however, in our little family, blood is thicker than water. We have your back, always.
- Breakfast for dinner is amazing; pancakes and bacon are the best; add a beer and it’s a real meal.
- Look people in the eye.
- Don’t use double negatives. Ever.
- Real friends clap when you win. No matter what. Be very cautious of those who don’t.
- Candy for breakfast really is okay every once in a while. Truly.
- Disagreement is one thing; judging is another. Be sure to honor the opinions of others, even if you don’t agree.
- Take flowers or a cake to new neighbors when they move in.
- Never say never. It WILL bite you. Trust me.
- Enjoy nature. Wade in the creek and enjoy that cool water rushing over your feet.
- Surround yourself with people who are different from you; you just might learn something.
- Staying up late and ignoring your bed time is fun. Break that rule and others from time to time.
- Be friendly and smile. You have an amazing smile and it will come in handy.
- Be honest with others and yourself, even if it’s hard.
- Splurge on good shoes.
- Be willing to change your mind and be brave enough to admit when you’ve made a mistake.
- Choose your work carefully. It does become who you are.
- Say you’re sorry when you need to apologize.
- Be sensitive and introspective; those are good qualities, despite what the world tells you.
- I love you, no matter what. Always and forever.