Monday, January 28, 2013

For What It's Worth

I've mentioned before that Tink is sneaking up on the teenage years. To say I'm freaking out about it would be an understatement. I've been thinking a lot lately, not only about the things I want to say to her, but also some things I hope I never do.

Dear Tink,

You are about to embark on a really confusing time. I wish so badly that I could tell you these years are going to be easy, but unfortunately that probably wouldn't be true.

Everyone makes mistakes in life. And you will be no different. But I want to tell you a few truths that I hope you hold on to as you get older. Don't look at it as advice. I know that's frowned upon at this point in our relationship. (Check back with me on that when you're 30.)

There are literally millions of tidbits of information I could give you. But instead, for now, I'd like to point out a few things that I WILL NOT say. (I'll at least try really hard not to. And if I do, you have a free pass to tell me I'm full of shit. But, you know, in a reasonable tone and manner.)

1. The reason that boy is mean to you is because he likes you. No. The reason that boy is mean to you is because he is an adolescent boy and he has no sense. It doesn't mean he likes you. It also doesn't mean he doesn't. Right now. HOWEVER, when you reach appropriate dating age (aka 25 or so), a boy that is mean to you definitely DOES NOT like you. Do not believe him if he tells you otherwise. Run the other direction and never look back. And if he ever hits you, you should make it abundantly clear to him that your father is a hunter.

2. You are the prettiest, smartest, or best [gymast, singer, dancer, musician, etc.]. That may seem a bit harsh. Don't get me wrong. I am astounded every single day by your beauty and talents. God blessed you so graciously and you are wonderfully gifted in so many ways. But, so are A LOT of other people. I want you to be confident. It is a very important character trait and will carry you far in life. But, if I were to lead you to believe that you would never encounter anyone prettier, smarter, or better at something than you, I would be doing you a major injustice. Because you will. I can guarantee it. Use that information as an inspiration to work even harder.

3. Girls are just "like that". Wrong. SOME girls are just "like that". Don't be one of them. Be a good friend. Be honest. Don't get caught in the gossip crossfire. If you are ever jealous (which you sometimes WILL be), use that as an opportunity to compliment the particular attribute you wish you had. Don't allow relationships with your friends to be ruined over things that don't matter. As you get older, you will treasure your female relationships even more than you do now.

4. Have a steady boyfriend in high school. As much as we won't like it, I imagine by the time you are in high school you'll become interested in dating. That's normal. But don't forget about your friends. You've got the rest of your life to hang out with a boy. Unfortunately, real life isn't like those movies where you get a high school do-over. I don't want you to wish for one later in life. Trust me on this one.

5. *We've actually already had this conversation a number if times* Don't choose [enter any number of underpaid professions here] as your career because you won't make any money. Sure, we want you to be financially secure in adulthood. But we also want you to be happy. If you base what you do every day for the rest of your life on how big your paycheck is, you could be setting yourself up for a miserable existence. Choose something you love to do and, if you are smart about spending (THAT will be harder than you think), the rest will work itself out.

I know you think I have no idea what I'm talking about. (Some of the time you'd be right about that - I find this parenting gig is a lot about just winging it.) But I know a little bit about these particular things. So take it for what it's worth. And know that I'll love you to the moon and back, even after you read this and disregard every word.

Love,
Mom


One thing I WILL say? VOTE FOR ME! (Remember you can vote every day!) Click on the circle!


12 comments:

  1. I was skimming when I first started reading and when I saw the bold face I was like, "I can't believe a modern woman is still telling her daughter this crap," but you WEREN'T. You were deconstructing it, as it deserves to be deconstructed. I especially like the whole mean boys take. I would reduce that age to 15, tho. Or actually any age is old enough to be kind and decent, even if you're a punk ass kid.

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    1. I was kind of worried that the message might get misinterpreted, but I felt like wording it another way could lose its effect. Writing is hard! Glad you picked up on what I was trying to say! I would hate for you to think I was so antiquated. Blech.

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  2. I have a notebook going for Ryan that has all kinds of lessons like these listed. It always makes me sad to write in it - getting too big too fast. I just pray he's not as full throttle as I was(that's a different notebook altogether!) Loved this...as always :)

    AND I rocked the vote for you!

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  3. I LOVED this. You are a girl after my own heart! Found you on Circle of Moms. =)

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  4. So great! Numbers one and two rocked my world. Sharing it on Facebook!

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    1. Thanks for the share, Amy!
      This raising girls thing is ROUGH!

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  5. Aw . . . did she read this??

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

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    1. No, she hasn't read it. I need to do some editing. After all, she's NEVER heard a cuss word.

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  6. Seriously brought tears to my eyes. So sweet and true and a bit jerky. Loved it. And No, I will not vote for you. :)

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    1. Girl. Come on. It's just one (or 20 - whichever you like) votes. You're kicking my ass anyway...

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