Monday, November 24, 2008

Five Things I Want My Children To Know Before They Grow Up

Veronica Mitchell at Toddled Dredge -- ain't that a grand blog name? -- tagged me for a meme I've seen quite a bit lately. [Does that mean I'm part of the in crowd? Being tagged in the infancy stages of a meme? What? It's been around four years? Crap.] I thought about just stealing her advice, but figured she'd come gunning for me, and you definitely don't want to piss off a "contemplative mom with crackers."

So, yeah, here are my five.

1. Life's Not Fair. Bad people often win. Good people often lose. Johnny gets a Mercedes for his 16th birthday. You might be lucky to use the family's 10-year-old station wagon. Amy cheated on her test and got an A. You studied hard but ended up with a B-. Your brother gets to stay up late to watch a TV special. You have to go to bed on time. Railing against the unfairness of it all won't help. That's not to say that you shouldn't fight against injustice. It's just that sometimes you won't win.

2. Be The Kind of Friend You'd Want as a Friend. And seek out those who know what being a friend is. Friends should be a wonder to behold. But you can't have good friends until you're a good friend yourself. Friendships will wax and wane. You'll outgrow some people and some people will outgrow you. But if you're holding up your end of the friendship, you could very well end up with friends who will be there your entire life.

3. Death Will Always Happen. And it will be so incredibly difficult to keep going on sometimes. Your parents will die. Friends will die. Your siblings will die. We can hope that it doesn't happen for a very long time, but it will happen. Faith will see you through: faith that God will take care of the one who died and the ones who remain. Time will ease your pain. In the throes of it, you might not want the pain to ever lessen. You'll wonder how you'll ever enjoy life again. But you will. You must.

4. Do Good Things for Others, Even Strangers. My kids see me do this quite a bit. [They also hear me curse out stupid drivers, but, hey, I never said I was perfect.] The boys at the library with the expired library card? We checked them out on ours. The person behind us in line with just an item or two? We let them cut. The poor schmoe trying to get out of the gas station and into traffic? We let them go in front of us. The "bad" kid at school whose parents seemed to have forgotten it was early release day? We let him call them on our cell phone and wait until he's picked up. Doing small deeds like these make you feel good. And don't we all deserve to feel good?

5. If You Loan Money to Friends and Family, Consider it Gone Forever. Now, if only I'd learned that lesson the first time or second time or even the third time, I might have a bit more cash in the bank. I think I'm on my seventh or eighth loan -- and I'm not talking about a mere hundred bucks. Perhaps I should really say, "Don't Loan Money to Friends and Family" because it would be easier on your mind and emotions. And, yet, if another loved one were in need, I'd do it again.

Now comes the part where I'm supposed to tag people. You all know me: I'm not a tagger. [Well, there was the time I tagged a huge rock with a nasty note about a coach in college, but that's not the tagging I'm talking about.] Anyway, tag yourself if you're of the mind to play. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Phoenix with the family for a few days. Here's hoping the in-room Internet access really works!

13 comments:

Jeni said...

On your #1 on the list -is that akin to my telling my kids when things didn't -or still don't -always go their way "People in hell want ice water. See how far that gets 'em!" Yeah, I have all kinds of little sayings like that one that I used on my kids when they were youngsters, still employ with them and now, toss them out to the grandchildren as well. Great start to a really good post there, my friend. Too bad a lot more people don't see it and take it to heart though.

cjh said...

I'm glad you didn't steal the list of 5 because yours is steal-worthy as well.

Sian said...

Yup, good advice.

Janet said...

Well written and observed. I try to do a lot with #4. I let people in front of me all the time, both in the store and in traffic. Actually, the traffic one is for completely selfish motives, because it invariably annoys the person behind me, which pleases me somehow.

Beck said...

VERY good advice. (I initially typed "Vewy" good advice, which would be like Elmer Fudd complimenting you.)
My in-laws loaned us the money for the house and we made it a point of honour to repay them - but those five dollar "loans" I'm forever giving to my no-good kid brother vanish away like fairy money....

Giggles said...

Love this meme I'm going to do it! The first four would be on my list for sure! But I won't copy! Very wise advice!

Hugs Giggles

Lucy said...

such a smart mom! I may do this too! thanks!

Lori said...

I think this is the beginnings of a book about life. Good advice. I will make my kids read it.

Momisodes said...

What a great list. There is certainly so much truth to all of these. I have to say that mine would certainly look similar.

D... said...

I'm glad you didn't tag me. I couldn't come up with anything different nor better than your list. Those are exactly the things I want my kids to know.

Maggie May said...

i looove this list. it's just right on.

jenica said...

just perfect.

Kelly O said...

I'm totally stealing this.

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