Today's Challenge: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to your child(ren).
Confession: This post is a day late. Why? Because when I logged on last night and read the challenge, I chickened out. I wanted this post to be good (if I wrote it) and I definitely didn't want to write it on the spur of the moment. So I slept on it. Then I thought about it some more. Funny thing is, I kept coming back to the same piece of advice. So I decided to go for it.
To my dear sweet kiddos:
My best advice to you, summarized in one sentence, is this: Be brave enough to learn from your parents' mistakes.
We don't stand around bragging about it, but we've "been there and done that" more times than you realize. And times really haven't changed as much as you think they have.
We never got arrested because we were lucky, not because we were perfect. We lived to be this age because we were blessed, not because we played it safe.
We made mistakes, lots of them, and we still do. We suffered for those mistakes by dealing with the consequences, whatever they were. Sometimes the consequences were as simple as embarassment. Other times it was worse. Sometimes we lost friends or pushed away family members. Sometimes we created bad habits in our children by making mistakes in our parenting!
We love you guys so so so much and we don't want you to have to go through any pain unnecessarily. That's why we try to give you advice that we know you don't want to hear. We give it anyway, praying that you will hear at least part of it and use at least a tiny fraction of it.
Alistair, this is advice you've heard before and you've already ignored it and more and learned lots and lots of things the hard way. Well you are doing much better now but the advice isn't going to stop. Ha. Ha. One day you will have children and I will give you far more advice than you can even imagine. You will roll your eyes and think about how to shut me up because you don't want me or anyone else to tell you what to do (I know this because I did this...another mistake). Here's the thing, I decided to do things my way and sometimes I really screwed it up. Good intentions aren't everything. In retrospect, I know what some of my mistakes were and where I could have done better. Those are the things I will try to tell you! So listen for cryin' out loud!
Mayson and Tera, you have many moons to go before you are old enough to walk away from my advice. For now...you have to at least listen to it. Ha. Ha. I hope you read this and learn from it. When we correct you, or when we make "suggestions," pay attention. Again, we've already made those mistakes. When we give you advice, these are not theories to be tested! These are results of theories we tested for you long ago! Just trust us and go with it...PLEASE.
Love you guys (from here to Kalamazoo),