Friday, May 8, 2015

to my three favorites


I am not a perfect mom. In fact lately, I'm feeling quite imperfect. Over the past week, I've been giving a lot of thought to the things I hope Punk and Kooka and Yoda to take with them when they outgrow this home. I hope I've taught them what they need to survive, to succeed, to be good people. If nothing else, maybe they'll see it in print and think to themselves, "so that's what she was trying to teach us when she force-fed us broccoli and made us scrub the toilets."  They're in no particular order - well, except for number 18 - which is the most important of them all.

1) Always say thank you when someone shows you kindness. There are plenty of a-holes in the world who won't show you any. Be grateful for the good guys.

2) If it's important you'll find a way, if it's not you'll find an excuse. I have never seen an excuse-maker winning a Nobel Prize or hosting Saturday Night Live. Just sayin'.

3) Like it or not, the world judges you in part, based on your outward appearance. Life is easier when you comb your hair, change your shirt, floss that piece of green crap out of your teeth and keep your nipple rings to yourself.

4) No tattoos until you're 25. Seriously. Nobody has experienced enough of life at 19 to make that decision. If you have finished college, broken up with at least two loves of your life, had at least one career-change-of-heart, can make your own lasagne, and you STILL think there is something in life you'll forget unless it is permanently inked on your scapula or the back or your calf, then by all means go for it. But at least make it something worth remembering - like that recipie for Pa's chili, or the phone number for a great mexican restaurant. The Chinese symbol for energy isn't gonna do a damn thing for you when you're trying to fix an impressive dinner for your fiance's parents.

5) Your life is the result of choices YOU make. You will be as successful or as pathetic as you make up your mind to be. Obviously, I am rooting for the former, but will not take the blame or credit for either. 

6) I have taken the liberty of choosing your family for you. You're welcome. I have done this to the best of my ability.  Each person in it has something to bring to your life, and you to theirs- find out what it is.

7) If I say I don't like one of your friends, what I probably mean is that I don't like who you are when you are with them. Choose wisely - so far so good.

8) Say you're sorry when you mess up. If you don't, if you can't, then you are that one butthead friend that everybody has and nobody likes.

9) Follow through. Keep your word. 

10) Laugh - a lot. It makes everything feel better.

11) No matter how angry you are, never ignore a text or call from your parents. We'll piss you off often and spectacularly, but when we don't hear from you, we can only assume you are hog-tied in the trunk of a 2003 Buick driven by an LSD-tripping serial killer. Our calls will only increase in frequency, and eventually end with the police battering through the door of your apartment, only to find you half-dressed, eating  a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Save us all the hassle - just respond.

12) Share. You have more than you need. Even when it doesn't feel like it, you have more than 2/3 of the rest of the world. Never forget that.

13) Take personal responsibility. Nobody gets fired because the boss is a jerk. Nobody fails a test because the teacher is stupid. Nobody starts smoking because somebody made them do it.  People might listen to your story, nod, and say they feel sorry for you - which is true. They feel sorry that you are a lazy weenie who can't step up and do the right thing, but ain't nobody buying that BS story about your chemistry professor.

14) Work hard, but know when to stop. Life needs balance. Phinneas needs Ferb, cookies need milk, Yoda needs Vader . . . you get the idea.

15) Don't be afraid to love. Sometimes it will get you burned, and sometimes it will send you over the moon. Shoot for the moon  - it's always worth it.

16) Spend your words more wisely than your money. You can exchange an ugly shirt. You can never take back hurtful words.

17) Do what you love. Find what takes your breath away and commit yourself to being the best at it.

18) Remember who loves you. If you forget, call your mother - she will be happy to remind you.