Wisdom: Our Legacy to our Children

I was hoping that when Alicia spelled out the rules to her recent game of blog topic tag – being that there were to be no general tagging of all readers and that you needed to tag people by name – that I would easily avoid this topic. I never get tagged by name. I am not a inner circle person. I just read blogs and comment as the spirit moves me and blissfully avoid much in the process. But, Marsha – you rebel child you – tagged all her readers and thus I was caught.

The topic came from The Daily MEME which is a blog for bloggers who need ideas or topics or just about anything blog. I checked the site out and though I haven’t used anything there myself, I am going to recommend it to at my next writer’s group meeting because there are a few people who have expressed interest in blogging and several others who are old-school journal keepers and might find it useful.

Since Marsha broke the rules to begin with I am going to venture further out onto the limb and change the structure of the topic a bit. There were all sorts of lists to be considered and filled in. What do you want your children to know before they grown up? What do you want them to know about you? Etc. Etc. as the King would say to Anna. It was too daunting and seemed a bit redundant. So here is my version.

Things I want my Daughter and Step-daughters to know
before they are middle-aged women Like Me.

1) You are beautiful. Believe it. Live it. Ignore styles and trends and beauty advice of all kinds unless it concerns skin care (because you are all fair and need to take care in that respect). Too tall, too thin, too short, too fat? Only if you think so and thinking so and agonizing over anything that you have no control over is a waste of time and will cause wrinkles. Happy people accept themselves physically and only seek to change aspects of themselves for themselves alone.
2) Establish good credit early and never be without a credit card in your own name alone. Women are sadly screwed when they marry and join their finances with their mates. Be wary to not let your credit history as a single person in your own right disappear because you will have a devil of a time re-establishing it.
3) A good education is one of the most important things you will ever give yourselves. Don’t throw away educational opportunities and never let financing be the reason you don’t pursue advanced schooling (college, university, graduate school). Your dad and I may not be keen on funding a backpacking trips across Europe, but we would not say “no” out of hand to the idea of you furthering your education.
4) Be inflexible when it comes to your value system. Don’t compromise it to be liked or loved.
5) Don’t expect love to fix you but don’t walk away from the opportunity just because the package it arrives in doesn’t match your imagination.
6) Be honest, but not in a mean way if you can help it (and on occasion you can’t.)
7) Know that I love you even when you are making me crazy, or I disagree with your choices.
8) See as much of the world as you have an opportunity to when you are young.
9) Don’t marry before you are thirty. Give yourself a chance to get over all the Disney princess notions (Katy) of love. Love is wonderful but it isn’t a fairy tale.
10) Remember that the glass is really half-full (or just poorly designed as your dad would say).
11) Be fair.
12) Don’t prejudge but remember that leopards can’t/don’t change their spots.
13) Be a good friend but not a doormat.
14) Finally, when I am very old and can’t see well enough to notice, please pluck the stray hairs that are growing on my chin. (I had to add this because my mother made me promise the same thing.)

Probably not the greatest or most comprehension list ever. It’s not even profound in any sense, but I have come to realize in all the years I have taught, and in the few I have parented, that kids by and large grow up to be who you raised them to be even when you take into account their own particular personalities.

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