Most of the time you're just swimming along in that ol' river of life, and then blam-o, it hits you. Your child does something, and you realize they are growing up literally right in front of you. These are the moments that make me feel a little desperate, like I need to sit down and write myself a list of everything I want to teach my daughter before she grows up.
Because time moves fast enough when they're little, but when they hit the teen years, it's like a freight train, I've started jotting them down already. It's a list of things she should have under her belt by the time she leaves the teen years (at the very latest). These are things she needs to know because she's a girl and things she needs to know because she's growing up in today's world.
1. There are boys after high school. Just look at your father. (I know you still think I'm being gross. You probably always will.)
2. Corn chips are not a vegetable. For that matter, neither is corn. I don't care what your father says.
3. Don't burn your bridges. You never know which potential employer is going to find out about that summer you spent stocking grocery store shelves and want to know how you did.
4. Speaking of, there's no shame in stocking grocery store shelves or flipping burgers if it helps pay your bills.
5. Always pay your bills.
6. All you need to remember to use a screwdriver is "righty tighty, lefty loosey." Don't forget it.
7. If someone tells you such and such is a great way to get high, tell them your Mama called you Mopey not Dopey. Whether they'll understand depends on how badly the drugs have already addled their brains. Be the one whose brain can still figure it out.
8. If you're thinking about buying something you really want but don't necessarily need, make yourself wait a few weeks. This is how I prevented myself from getting that perm I thought I needed (for why this is such a bad idea, feel free to look through my old yearbooks).
9. You might not be best friends with your high school best friend in a few years. That will make you cry. But someone else will help you dry your tears. If not, I will.
10. Always say thank you.
11. The top speed on the odometer indicates how fast the car can go, not how fast it should go.
12. Adopting a pet means taking care of them for as long as they live (aka I don't want another cat when your RA figures out you've been hiding him in your dorm room).
13. It's only hair.
15. You don't have to change your own oil, but you should get it done every 3,000 miles.
16. It's never worth the pain of that hangover.
17. The guy isn't worth the hangover either.
18. The world will expect you to be both beautiful and smart because you're a girl. Don't worry, you've got them both covered. But when in doubt, smart always wins.
19. The perfect pair of shoes and the perfect pair of jeans exist. You'll know when you find them; just buy several pairs.
20. Your father and I will ALWAYS love you. No exceptions. No conditions.
Hey, it's a start, right? Please tell me I have plenty of time to add to it. Please!?
What would you add if you had a list of things your daughter needs to know before she grows up?
Image by Jeanne Sager