Sophie at A Hole in the Fence recently tagged me for this meme. Normally I’m not a meme-y person, but I like the sentiment of this one: the 5 things you’d like to tell your children and want them to know before you kick it. Well, ok, it’s a little nicer-sounding than that, but that’s the idea. And, as a fellow working-all-around-great mom, Sophie’s cool and cas about the whole passing the torch thing, which means low pressure for those of us she’s tagged. We love you, Soph!
The only problem is that Ms. Sophie was so eloquent and thoughtful in her answers it leaves me no choice but to copy all of her responses….or to take a slightly different, irreverent approach. (Honestly, Sophie’s post was wonderful, leaving me a bit stumped as to what else there is to say.) But, without further ado, here are my 5 (x5) things:
5 things I want my kids to know
1. When I call you brats, I mean it. Seriously. Remember that day this summer when you were jumping on the bed, shouting with manic glee and not listening to anything I said? And then you laughed in my face when I told you to stop? Mmm-hmmm. If the shoe fits…
2. Someday you’ll snap and call your kids brats, too.
3. I have a memory like an elephant’s, especially when it comes to things people have done wrong, which is unfortunate for you. The good news is I’m also rather forgiving and my memory will continue to falter with age. (Bonus: I have the family disease of not being able to call you by the right name, so you don’t have to take anything I say seriously.)
4. Life is not fair. Accept it now, come up with options and possible solutions to work around it and move on. That sounds direct and cruel, but I’m telling you because I love you…I didn’t make up the rules, although I often tell you I do.
5. It’s okay to make mistakes. We all do — even (cough, cough) me. Just please learn something from them and don’t make the same one more than once. And when you’re a teenager there will be such a thing as waiting to tell your mom certain “details” about your shenanigans until she is older and better able to laugh about it.
5 things you want to tell your child when she is grown up
1. Get a job — even if it’s not your dream job. You will have to pay rent and support yourself, even if you live with me.
2. Move out. I’ll increase the rent way beyond your means until you do. (Tip for T-Rex: no one wants to date a guy who still lives with his mama unless there is a VERY good reason, which I cannot imagine.)
3. Don’t get married until you’re at least in your 30’s. I know some people “know” what’s right and who’s right for them when they’re 20, but it’s not in your blood. Sorry. Live for yourself first.
4. Have children only if you want to — which, admittedly, I hope you will — understanding that along with the exhilarating, wonderful days, there will be days when your kid insists on you wiping his butt (T-R), barfs on you (TR and DG, but thankfully not at the same time), whines (both), or yells “NO, Mommy, don’t hurt me!!” with the windows open and all you’re trying to do is get a flippin’ splinter out of your child’s hand AND all you’ve done is SHOW her the stupid needle. (Yes, Drama Girl, that one’s for you.) This is all perfectly normal good fun and makes for good blog material.
5. Continue to wear clean underwear at all times.
5 things you want to tell your child before you die
1. Where I’ve stored my Will, Living Will and Power of Attorney. (I guess that should wait until you grow up.)
2. Please don’t show any photos of me at my funeral that I’d consider to be on the “Show Them and I’ll Haunt You Forever” list. You know, the one from 7th grade in my big honking glasses and braces, hair parted down the middle and in barrettes. Or the one from college where I apparently was not paying attention (or paying too much attention up close) and plucked my eyebrows differently. The bad hair one when…wait, that rules out the majority…
[And now for the more heartwarming, serious parenting advice…]
3. Find one or more things you love to do and then find a way do it/them in your life. This may seem in conflict with Grown Up Rule #1 (get a job), and the fact you may not get paid for it is part of All-Around Rule #4 (life isn’t fair), but your happiness, sense of accomplishment and satisfaction will make it all worth it. And, as the zen saying goes, “leap and the net will appear.”
4. Do the best you can with the knowledge you have and under the circumstances at the time. That is all anyone should expect — including you.
5. I’ve always loved you with all my heart — and did the best I could — even on the days it may have not been so apparent.
5 things you want your child to know before he dies
1. Twu luv, just like Princess Buttercup and Westley.
2. Enough monetary success to live comfortably without financial worries or burdens. (And if you have excess, for God’s sake, share it with those who need a little more.)
3. The joy of giving (time, skills, an open ear, a hug, financial support, etc.) and knowing you helped someone less fortunate than you, or a stranger, or a friend having a bad day. Likewise, knowing how good it feels to receive — say, like, when your child gives you a hug or says “I love you, Mommy” when you’re having a bad day.
4. Good health, so you can enjoy your life.
5. Inner peace and acceptance. ‘nuf said.
See, I couldn’t keep up the irreverance! I’m a mush at heart.
5 folks I’m tagging for this blog
I’m tagging the the following bloggers if and only if they would like to participate:
Rachel at Single Mom Seeking
Tonya at T’s Quest
Bob or Joe at Masters of Gilligan – let’s see how gushy a guy gets (or not)
Heather at Just a Moment
Mini at Minivan Bohemian
Lanipai at In My Own Skin
Yes, I know that’s 6. I wanted to share the love even more! Either that or set myself up to have an extra person tell me to shove the torch up my a… as one of your 5 things you’d like me to know. I got my inner peace, I don’t mind either way.