Search This Blog

Monday, December 13, 2010

What would you put in your letter?

I'm still dwelling on the Elizabeth Edwards story.

I feel like I've really slacked in the realm of parenting for the past year and a half. In fact, I think that I've probably really slacked for the past 10 years when it comes to my feral third son.

However, now, I'm dwelling on this letter that Elizabeth Edwards wrote for her children, in an attempt to provide for them the advice that she wouldn't be around to give later.

I have no idea what advice I'd give my kids. I'm probably not even giving them advice on important stuff now. Where to even begin?

Truthfully, on days like today and after weekends like the one we just had, it appears they take neither my advice nor my commands nor my suggestions nor my pleadings...and that also explains why the bathroom isn't clean and why, on a day school was cancelled for bad weather, that my one son had to get up at 8:00 a.m. to finish yesterday's chores...because he didn't take my advice.

Maybe ignoring my advice and my inability to provide such advice is a type of ostrich-like comfort. If it's not here, we can pretend we have all the time in the world to provide it, safely.

But I digress.

Maybe I should start such a letter. Maybe I should start such a letter here. Maybe I should do a series of entries called "Advice to my sons".

So, what would you be sure to put in your letter? What advice do you wish your mother had given you?


Debbie Long said...

Off the top of my head, mine would probably start with:

1. Choose faith. Faith won't make you a better person, but an eternal perspective is different from a temporal one. I recommend faith.

2. Choose relationships over things. Every time.

3. Independence is one of the worst things that can happen to you. (This is exactly the opposite of what I was raised to believe.) Having seen the Gospel According to Scrooge this weekend, I am reminded that doing it all "myself" is damaging to the human soul.

4. Do hard things. Too easy is also damaging to the human soul.

5. Choose your mate on the basis of respect, shared values, and ability to commit. Love, communication, and sex wax and wane. Don't base your mate relationship on these fragile components.

6. Laugh as much as possible. Be silly. Acknowledge the absurd (especially if you contributed to it).

7. Eat the food God made. Avoid food with nutrition labels.

8. Don't believe the myth of "quality time." It is a lie. The only kind of time is limited. Seize the day.

Anonymous said...

Don't wish your life away or live with constant regrets. Live each moment, but that doesn't mean that every moment is about you. Love, respect, kindness are more important than having fun. Family and friends are with you for life; romantic partners often are not. Good looks and athletic ability fade with time.
Of course, I love you and will continue to love you.