I read a version of this on Huff Post and saw another on a blog. I’ve hijacked some of these b/c they were already perfect, and rest are my own. I’d like to think I’ll update this over the years as this changes and she grows up (eek!).
Lessons for my daughter:
1. Don’t smoke. Seriously so gross. Oh and guys…they think it’s disgusting.
2. Manners. Yes ma’am and no ma’am all the way. Sounds stodgy, sure. But manners open doors, and cast you in a certain light. They take you places. You’re of southern heritage anyhow, child.
3. Don’t worry about the boy you love at 13 who won’t love you back. At 30, you won’t remember his last name.
4. Do, however, worry a little about the boy you love at 25. He might become your husband, as your dad became mine. But if he doesn’t, that’s ok, too. You are only 25.
5. Give back. Whatever charity sparks your interest, no matter how big or how small… give back. I also like to call this paying it forward. It’s the Christian thing to do as we’ll teach you. I need to do more of this and truly look forward to doing this together.
6. At your wedding, should you choose to go that route, all that really matters is the marriage… although the details will be really fun. Oh and choose a band… so much more fun.
7. Don’t get in cars with drunk people. Call home instead, no matter the time or how old you are. Ask for your dad.
8. Don’t stress about the cool kids. The less you care about them, the more they will care about you. And don’t let them talk you into smoking. Genuinely kind and sincere friends are cooler anyway. Also, “going along” with the cool kids and doing something mean to someone else is not “cool”. Remember what happens in Mean Girls.
9. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Repeated over and over again throughout my life, it’s so true.
10. Learn to appreciate art. I’ll probably overwhelm you with art projects and museums. It’s one of the most special things I share with your grandmother and I’d love to share it with you as well. Love of art will have so many meanings over the course of your life.
11. Work hard at your school work. Take it seriously. It’s one of the most common regrets I hear from family and friends… that they drifted. Working hard and succeeding in high school leads to a good college, and then you actually know how to work hard at your first job. As someone who hires for a living, you can’t teach hard work.
12. You can’t change people. Not men, not your friends, not even your mother. Accept the ones you want to accept, move on from the ones you don’t (except your mother, of course).
13. Put down the electronics and go outside. Explore. Find your sense of “play”. Maybe take a camera and see what a city, a town, a backyard looks like through that lens as well.
14. Go to Paris. And then go again. And then go again.
15. Spend money on expensive shoes and handbags. At least one of each. The crap from Canal Street is just that…. crap.
16. Consider living in New York at some point. I truly feel that I grew up here. I (re)met your father here. It’s a city of endless possibilities.
17. Don’t feel you always need a boyfriend. I feel like I always did have one and wish the majority of that time was spent with my girlfriends. They mean more now than those silly old relationships and should have then.
18. Take the high road. There will come a time when someone you love (a friend or a boy) will disappoint you, hurt you or God forbid… humiliate you. Don’t stoop to their level… remain yourself at all times. If you’re not sure who you are… ask me.
19. Don’t let anyone, I mean anyone tell you that you are not beautiful. Sure, there are hearing aids, there are differences. Those things contribute to why you are SO beautiful. When people say beauty on the inside matters most… they are telling the truth.
20. You can hate me sometimes. And I am sure that when you are a music blaring- embarrassed-by-me, sharp-tongued, rebellious teen, that I’ll have issues with you. As long as we both remember that underneath any animosity, there is a love like no other.
I love you and you’ll hate the nickname eventually but you’ll always be my little bug.