Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dear S̶o̶n̶ D̶a̶u̶g̶h̶t̶e̶r̶ You,

Dear Son Daughter You,

You’re coming soon, and when it comes down to it, I’m not really sure how to process that thought.

I’ve wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, though that reminder doesn't make any of this any less nervewracking. 
I logged a lot of adolescent hours playing house with a Cabbage Patch on my hip. 
I've always been a fan of mom jeans. 
And my dream job has always been a stay-at-home mom. 
That’s a reflection of the kind of mother I have and the childhood I had, I guess.


As time speeds up and your birthday gets closer, I’ve been thinking of a few things I want to tell you. Important stuff. I figured the best way to ensure that I remember each of these very important bits of advice is to write them down. This will be an on-going project, but let’s start here:

Dear Son Daughter You,
On your most discouraging days, do not attempt to fold a fitted sheet. It will only make things worse.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Drink water. A lot of it. The more water you drink, the better off you’ll be. Don’t ask about the science behind this (you'll soon learn I'm not a dietician), just trust me.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Never trust a man wearing two things: white sunglasses or skinny jeans. Run from a man who is wearing both simultaneously. For the future of humanity, we can only hope these two trends are long forgotten before you learn to read this letter.  

Dear Son Daughter You,
You’ll make great strides if you listen with the intent to learn, rather than the intent to respond. I’ll remind you of this in fifteen years.

Dear Son Daughter You,
As a guide, the zipper on your pants should always be longer than the palm of your hand.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Be nice to people. Just, be nice. It takes nothing out of your pocket or any additional time to treat people with kindness and to be pleasant. People will forget what you said, they’ll forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Leave people feeling better.  

Dear Son Daughter You,
Save your money. Seriously. From your first steer, to your first job, to your first Christmas bonus: Put a little bit back from every wage you earn. I cannot describe the importance of having money saved, not spent.

Dear Son Daughter You,
It is pertinent that you learn how to drive a manual transmission.
Stick shift.
Three on the tree.
Grind ‘em ‘til you find ‘em.
Your dad and I’s favorite vehicles were manuals. Someday when you’re 30 and a stable adult we’ll tell you those stories.

Dear Son Daughter You,
For our daughter: I feel like now is when I should apologize for your father’s behavior on the evening of your first date (that’s not happening until you’re at least 16 and can drive a manual, by the way), but I’ll never undermine what may go through his head on this night. He really does have your best interest in mind. He has the protective instincts of a lion and the tender heart of a…..kitten? (He is so going to kill me when he reads this) Your Grandpa Bowman always said that the guy who wasn’t scared of him (or the three loaded rifles he kept propped against the woodwork of the entry door) was the one he could trust with his daughter. He was right. Your father is going to try hard to scare off each of your suitors, with his thunder voice and few, rigid words. One day we’ll laugh about it at your wedding. I hope.
For our son: When it comes to dating, don’t be an idiot. 


Dear Son Daughter You,
Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to learn. I wouldn’t have had to take chemistry twice at Purdue had I asked questions the first time.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Be conservative on how you use your energy and resources.
This means:
Shut off the lights when you leave a room.
Turn off the water as you brush your teeth.
Sleep when you can. Please, oh please, oh please, sleep. You’ll want all those nap opportunities back when you’re 31. Trust meeee.
It also means that you should spend your time and energy with people who are more like a fountain than a drain. It may not make sense now, but I’ll follow up on this when you’re in junior high.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Travel. Take off and see things. Go places. Meet people. See the county. See the state. See the country. See the world (this is where saving your money comes in darn handy). Go someplace that makes you feel incredibly small and insignificant. It will only be then that coming home feels so extraordinary.


Dear Son Daughter You,
Math or science question? Ask your father.
English question? Ask me.
All other questions? Pray about it.
You’ll probably need to pray for a clear mind on the day of your spelling tests, too. That’s genetic.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Some proven facts to save you frustration down the road:
You’ll only find a coupon three days after it expires.
The grocery store and theme park lines to your left and right will always move faster than the one you’re in.
Saying or thinking these words will ensure disaster: "I hope I don’t see anyone I know" 
A man who can make a woman laugh has a major advantage over one who can’t. 

OK. 
I think that is it for today. I'll continue to write things down as they cross my mind. Because your father and I both know one of the biggest lies I tell myself is I don't need to write this down; I'll remember it.... 

You're very special, already.

4 comments:

  1. Love it! Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy. My daughter would give you some advice, too: Get as much sleep as you possibly can now - before the baby is born.

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    1. Gosh I'm sure trying. I so beat at the end of the work day, then catch a second wind right around 9:00 PM - that's where I am right now! I appreciate that. Off to bed -

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  2. Very sound advice! This put a smile on my face and the hubby's as I read it to him :)

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    1. Thanks, gal! Tell hubby Rick hello :)

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