I am the proud father of a 4 and a half year old teenager. It wasn’t that long ago that I was changing diapers and warming bottles, and it won’t be that long before I’m filling out FAFSA’s and buying dorm furniture. Just typing that last sentence kinda scared the crap out of me. So here is a list of random things that I want to teach my daughter before that time comes. It’s obviously not a comprehensive list and it’s not in any particular order but it’s a start.
If I could teach you just 25 things before you leave home, it would probably be a different list than this, but these are the things that come to my mind as I write so here we go. Actually, before I even get to that let me remind you that just because you leave doesn’t mean you can’t come back… often. Okay now I’m ready… I think.
- Failure is not an option, it’s a requirement. You’re going to fail and it’s going to break my heart but every story of victory starts with a story of defeat.
- Ask more questions than you answer.
- Music will make it better but when necessary… music and ice cream.
- Be Feminine and be strong. Those two are not contradictory.
- Live passionately. Life’s too short to spend your time being bored.
- Don’t give your heart to a man who doesn’t take care of his own.
- Spend less money than you make and never finance toys.
- Love generously, but smartly.
- Never stop, stopping to smell the flowers.
- Believe in Magic.
- Intelligent women are sexy, loose the diets and find a good book.
- Smile a lot. Your smile is like a warm bed and the cool side of the pillow.
- Love is about keeping promises.
- Family can often be found outside the confines of a picket fenced house with a mom, dad, 2 kids, and a goldfish.
- Saving should be a priority. Occasional splurging should be up there on the list too.
- Life is not always black and white. Learn to embrace the grey and live in the tension. It will make you more compassionate.
- Journal often. It’ll untie the knots in your mind.
- Be brave. Life is tough but if anybody can handle it, it’s you.
- No matter what, you will always be my beautiful little girl.
- Please don’t ever date a guy that would hurt you. I don’t think I’d do well in prison.
- Leave work at work but take family wherever you go.
- Find good mentors. They can help you avoid life’s potholes but they are also good at pulling you out when you step in one.
- It’s okay to get Angry at God. He can take it.
- I have loved you longer than any boy ever will.
And Maybe most importantly…
- Please never stop giving me kisses. They reorganize my soul.
I love you all kinds of bunches,
P.S. Neither of us will ever be too old for you to call me “Daddy”.