This post was originally written for Yahoo’s Shine, a place where people post blogs and chat and whatnot and where they have inexplicably made me a parenting guru. The assignment was to write about 5 things we wish for our kids.
As the parent of a teen, I feel like I have very little time left to mold my son—if that’s even possible now that he’s 14. But there are still a few things I’d like to teach him.
- Be happy. Look, happiness is like the ocean. Sometimes the tide is in, sometimes it’s out. But over your life I hope you stay happy. I hope your life/family/friends surround you and that you keep the happiness you’ve found with me and Dad and friends and family.
- I hope you recognize your talents and use them in the future. Your first word was “eat.” The second word was “doggie.” Since that time I have never seen an animal that didn’t fall madly in love with you. I’ve also never seen anyone understand science the way you do. Or view art as you do. Or do those long equation thingies that I never understood. I’ve also never seen anyone stand in front of the open refrigerator as often as you do, but that’s another story.
Remember that what you choose to work at will be something you do for a very long time, so you should love it. Take your talents and make them work with you. And no, that doesn’t mean you should start practicing for a hot dog eating contest. I’m thinking more along the lines of the equation thingies.
- Read. I know that as a writer, I love to read. I know that as a doer, you hate it. But you need to do it. Not for me—although that would be nice. But you need to do it for you. Reading opens up our imaginations. Also, it’s the best thing to do on a rainy day. Okay, its not as good as sliding down a grassy hill on a cardboard box in the rain, but it’s close.
- Don’t rush into having sex. I know it’s difficult to resist the pressures. And honestly, I don’t expect you to be the last virgin standing. I do hope that you will wait until you find someone you respect and have feelings for, because that makes sex so much better. I also expect you to remember our family motto, “ain’t no love without a glove.”
- Don’t forget that I will always love you. No matter where you go, what you do or who you become, I will always love you more than the sun loves the moon or the stars love the sky. And you know what that means. You’ll never be rid of me, no matter how hard you try.