Once upon a time, I read a little book of advice from a father to his son. It got me thinking about thinking about things I want to pass on to my kids. As my forty-sixth birthday is coming up, I thought I'd cough up forty-six pearls of wisdom for my posterity. Some clearly apply to my daughters more than my sons. Use your best judgement in applying these babies in your own life.
1. If you are already in the shower, shave and shampoo. You'll never be sorry you did.
2. Don't pull on loose strings.
4. Do one generous and one ridiculous thing when you get a windfall.
5. Remember birth control doesn't work sometimes. Don't have sex with anyone you are unwilling to have a child with.
6. Date someone for at least a year before getting married.
7. Live in the worst house in a nice neighborhood. Make it better.
8. Never buy a refrigerator without shelves.
9. Always try to go to the funeral of someone you love.
10. Children are not grownups, but they are people, full-grown souls in little bodies. Be respectful.
11. Do not induce labor if you can help it.
12. Treat people as you would like to be treated.
13. If you think something nice about someone, say it to them.
14. Tell people you love them if you do.
15. Don't tell people you love them if you don't.
16. Bills don't go away if you ignore them.
17. If you need to throw up, just do it. Stressing about it and trying to stop it just results in constant nausea and puke coming out your nose.
18. Parents get grouchy and tired. Offer them some time off sometime if they seem to be losing it.
19. If you swear around little tiny people, you can expect them to parrot it back in their cute little lispy voice. Chances are this will not make you feel warm and fuzzy.
20. If you plant something, water it, or it will die.
21. If you plant something, don't water it too much, or it will die.
22. Don't name chickens you are planning on eating.
23. Anything is easier to wash right away. It gets harder the longer it sits. (Except oatmeal. Don't know what's up with that.)
24. Buy the best knives you can afford.
25. Don't cheat. It makes you feel bad and it gets you in trouble.
26. Don't hit people. Even when--especially when--it seems like a good idea.
27. If you are going to have more than one kid buy good quality clothes second-hand. For you and for them.
28. Nursing costs a heck of a lot less money than formula. Spend some of that saved money on yourself.
29. Read widely. Read about ideas, people that appall you as well as those that uplift you.
30. Most friends will grow distant eventually, even ones you think will always be there. In the end, your family is still there. Invest the most in those relationships.
31. Visit lonely people.
32. Never take sides in a divorce.
33. Do not argue with the police. Use your nice words.
35. Treat your mail carrier well.
36. Wash your can opener.
37. Never say "uh-huh" absentmindedly to a child. They will remember that "promise" forever.
38. If you get an epidural and then you get a horrid headache afterwards, they will suggest you wait two weeks for it to heal on its own. It will not. Just get the "blood patch" that they will offer you in two weeks right away. It's really low risk and it works instantly.
39. When someone talks about suicide take them seriously. So what if she is just seeking attention? Give it to her.
40. Do not love other people's children as if they were your own. Your heart will break if they leave.
41. Pray. No one loves you more than God. No one deserves your love more than God.
42. Lay down for a full week after you have a baby. Your body will make you pay if you try too much too soon.
43. Be careful with bleach. A little goes a long way.
44. Play the Glad Game.
45. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
46. If you lend money, consider it a gift. Do not borrow money from friends or family.