Hello boys. I am writing to you from age 29.5. Since we are in the twilight months of either of your parents being in their 20's, I thought it an appropriate time to put some of my current insights into life down on paper (ok, I'm writing this on a blog, one that I started about pregnancy). By the time you are in your 20's, your dad and I will be in our mid-40's and we'll be useless as far as you are concerned. At least, that's often the way it works.
Here are the important things I want you to think about in your teen years and into your 20's (I say from the far side of those decades).
- Have a physical hobby. Play a sport, be into ultimate Frisbee, just lift weights... whatever. Endorphins are really worthwhile.
- Do something with music. Play it, dance to it, just listen to a lot of it. Music is really great for creativity and emotional expression.
- Try and read something every day. Read a comic book, read a news article, read part of a book. Just make reading a habit. Start this as young as possible and never stop.
- Take girls (or boys) on dates to do interesting things. You don't necessarily have to pay for it, but do be the one to suggest it.
- Don't let any one aspect of yourself define your self worth. You are more than your intelligence, your appearance, your athletic or musical ability... there is a whole lot to who you are.
- When you are trying to decide what to do in college, try and figure out what you would do with that when you graduate. Do pick a major that will allow you to life the kind of lifestyle you want to have in the future.
- Be good to each other and other family. As my mom told me "Be nice to your brother, someday he will be the only person who you can talk to about how weird your parents were."
- When you are talking to someone, make eye contact. Keep your phone (or other electronic device) out of the conversation. It's probably old-school, but this is a life skill that you need to have.
- Never insult anyone's mother, either to her face or behind her back. Being a mother is incredibly demanding and sometimes makes us act in ways that are hard to explain. Just cut every mom some slack and be kind.
- This includes your own.
- When I was in high school, history was boring and dry. If that's still true, go figure out what about the past interests you and try and find out stuff about that. College can be great for that. Don't let any middle or high school class define your opinion on a subject.
- Money is important. I hope I've taught you how to manage what you have. If you have questions, please ask me or your dad.
- When you are somewhere in the 16-21 region, you will think you know everything. You don't, but you will know more that Dad and I are willing to give you credit for. We also know more than you are willing to give us credit for. Try and remember to be humble and present your side of things clearly and respectfully. It'll go better.