When they are very small, we give them warmth, snuggles and, in some cases, if we’re lucky, breast milk.
Before their first birthday, we are giving them excuses for why we won’t eat the mushy food they are trying so generously to share with us and giving them back their tiny spoons that SOMEHOW keep ending up on the floor.
As our children grow up, go to school, make friends, and test our limits, we try our damnedest to give them nuggets of wisdom at each step along the way, finding random opportunities to casually share with them some of the knowledge we accumulated by
making horrendous mistakes living a full life.
While not a definitive list of all the insights I intend to bestow upon my daughters as they enter their ‘tween’ years, here are 16 prominent pieces of information I hope they will let marinate in their brilliant minds as they morph into young adults.
1. You don’t need to eat food out of a box or a bag that’s handed to you out of a tiny window on the side of a building. That with a handful of ingredients, a bit of want-to and a few spare moments, you can make just about anything from scratch, especially whipped cream which requires only three ingredients plus five minutes of very active arm muscles, and is so very worth it, especially when the chocolate chip pancakes you’ve just made from scratch for dinner are still warm. But that sometimes, a box of mac-n-cheese after a long day IS the best option, but toss some frozen peas in there too to make grandma happy.
2. Those impossibly happy people in commercials, on billboards and in magazine ads are being paid to look that happy. If you don’t need what they are selling, and to be honest, you probably don’t, you do not have to want it or buy it.
3. No matter if my earbuds are in and I’m on my way to the shower after a sweaty run or if my eyes are peeled on the stoppage time finish of my favourite soccer team’s match or if I’m still asleep before dawn on a weekend morning, should you have something you need to say, something you need to get off your chest right then in that very moment: I am ready to make you and your voice my top priority. Everything else can and will wait. But if you wake me up to tell me you’re hungry, we’re gonna have a problem.
4. A sensible career may very well pay your bills comfortably, but if your work brings you no joy, then you have every right to switch gears and follow your heart.
5. Your heart may sometimes lead you astray, but there exists no path more worth following.
6. You will undoubtedly encounter rotten people along your path and they may attempt to cause you harm, but those people are the exceptions to the rule, not the standard. It may be difficult but please do not judge all by the nasty actions or sour intentions of a few.