It can happen to all of us, and it can happen so soon. Life catches up with you and you find yourself working, day-caring, trying to make ends meet, hoping to win the rat-race…
As much as writing this for you, I am writing this for all the adults around me (including your Mom and I). Never stop being creative. Never give up the talents that you have and never give up on the joy they bring you.
Play guitar, draw, write, paint… And smile while you do it!
Remember that to be creative, all you need is your mind. Sure that easel and a nice set of oils will help (if you know how to use them — which is another reason to never give up on creativity, it’s a skill that needs fueling) but a 5 ct. pencil and some Post-It notes work just as well. At the moment you are creating master pieces with Disney crayons on an old newspaper. Maybe we’ll keep them and you can smell them when you read this.
Books are wonderful things, you already know that. Bathrooms are , for the most part, very pleasant places. Really, the worse you have to go, the better they become. Right?
So if books are wonderful and bathrooms are pleasant then what better place to read a book? Your dad is a big proponent of reading in the bathroom. Sure it takes a while for that toilet seat to reach a comfortable temperature, but once it does… Bliss! There is no better place to read. Full stop.
There is however a slight problem with bathrooms and books. You see, activities that are traditionally performed in bathrooms have a common denominator. That thing is… Water! There is a good reason that bathrooms are designed the way they are. Bathrooms are made to withstand the onslaught that is moisture (I hate that word). Lack of carpet, high gloss paint, tiles… Books on the other hand are made of a material (paper) that is anything but impervious to water in all its forms generally found in the one room in the house where it’s OK to splish and splash.
So while reading in the bathroom is a very relaxing past time, if you forget your book in the bathroom after you are done…
DISASTER! There is nothing worse than to try turning a soppy wet page stuck to another one. Even if, in between showers, your book has enough time to recuperate to its fully dry state, your book (that you love so much) will have curled pages. Yuk! Reading in the bathroom, fine… Just don’t leave your reading material sitting around.
Learn! There is no question dumb enough to ask. The more you ask, the more you learn. The only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask! Now, that doesn’t mean you can simply say anything you want by post-fixing it with a question mark. Just because you think your dad is stupid doesn’t mean you should ask “Hey dad, are you stupid?” That is just rude. But if you have a genuine question, Ask! No matter the answer, you will be wiser for asking it.
Your Mummy and I, on the other hand are already dreading the day when (and this seems to be a phase in any kid’s life) you will start asking the universal-one-word-question, Why? That’s not a question, that’s just annoying! Nonetheless we will do everything in our power to answer. One more time, the more you ask the more you learn. The more you learn, the better off you are!
Just a little video of my fave lil’ girl. No rules today! It’s Sunday (well maybe not when you watch this)!
You will possibly not understand this one until you have kids yourself, but here goes anyway. When it was just me and your Mommy, life was relatively straightforward. I love her, she loves me. Simple! Now, both your Mum and myself have to divide our attention, and our love, between two people. Let’s say your mother comes home from a crap day at work, she wants to cuddle with me but I am frazzled because you got sick and in between my home office tasks I had to take care of you. Now we are both in a bad mood… And you are still sick!
I promise that I will try my best (and so will your Mommy) to use that moment to find strength. To help each other out of our funk. Just do me one favor, try not to throw up while this is going on.
You have to love what you do. Whether it is music or teaching or carrying out groceries… If you don’t absolutely love whatever it is you do, sanity will set in and you will give up. If I didn’t totally love you and your mum, do you think I would be planning on making a trip halfway around the world to be with you guys? I love nothing more dearly then waking up with you, that is what keeps me going! You should look for that kind of love in whatever it is that you want to do. You cannot succeed if you don’t absolutely love what you set out to do….
There is a proper piece of clothing for every occasion. For parties, for job interviews, for playing in the rain, you name it! But… Don’t take your clothes too seriously. While I like to get dressed up, in fact I *LOVE* dressing up, you most likely will see me around the house in a less than stellar-looking outfit. Yeah I know that t-shirt has a hole in it. Also, cargo pants made from parachute material are probably not the hippest thing (especially combined with old cowboy boots). But shoot, I am COMFORTABLE!
Which brings me to my point. You need to dress for comfort. Anyone that tells you otherwise is uptight. Sure, you better not show up for a job interview in ratty jeans and a dirty t-shirt, but if you are just doing groceries, who cares? Dress for comfort first and looks second. If that means that you can’t always have “that look”, oh well. You will feel a hell of a lot better. Those girls in the back row of your history class with the high heels on. Sure they may look fabulous, but they are not going home after school, they will be visiting a podiatrist to take care of the blisters and hammer toes. All while you and your dorky sandals and some of your friends are catching an afternoon movie. And when that’s finished, I’ll come pick you up. Your friends will likely laugh at what I am wearing. I mean parachute pants and cowboy boots have never been in style. But when I give you a hug, you will not have to worry about me crushing the 500 dollar ensemble that you are not wearing. It’s just going to feel good!
Related to the “Pee now or later” rule, is its close cousin the “Clean underwear” rule. When I grew up we always laughed at the parents that told their children to wear clean underwear because they might get in an accident. Seriously clean underwear is not going to stop you from getting into an accident. Nor will it help you with any recovery effort. And the paramedics in the ambulance and the doctors in the emergency room will be way too busy saving your life, or limbs to notice you are not wearing clean underwear… Or any at all for that matter.
Nonetheless, you should change your panties and socks AT LEAST once a day. Preferably at the beginning of said day. It has been proven by folks way smarter than your parents to fight off disease. Trust us (and those really smart folks).
Or father for that matter…
There are those among the human race that will say or do something and then absolutely freak out when they come to the realization they just did EXACTLY what their parents would have done given the same situation. Why people go berserk over these moment is beyond me. After all, you are a product of your parents. And a whole slew of other people, but mostly your parents. When you hang out with us as long as you will eventually hang out with us (even though at age 13 you will likely have illusions of moving out on your own soon), you inevitably pick up some of our habits. Don’t fight that. Most of those habits are good ones anyway, and the quirky ones area fun way to freak out your friends!
Some people will tell you that if there is ever a question, you should pee now. Holding it up will lead to accidents. While in general that is true, please know that the kind of people that say that, aren’t really in it for your benefit. You see, when adults ask you if you need to go to the bathroom, what they are really asking is: If you piss on the backseat of my car, can I get away with claiming it wasn’t my fault?
If your mom asks you if you have to go, and you don’t there is no use faking it. Mom just wants to know that she did everything she could to prevent you from emptying your bladder on daddy’s back seat.
The truth is… You don’t know know that you have to go in 11 minutes… Also, peeing “just because” will make you weak. People that go just because the next rest stop/gas station/ grassy knoll is not until another hour or three will suffer the consequences… Incontinence happens to those that pee because they had the opportunity, not because they had to go! You are a girl, do your Kegels and know there is always a grassy spot somewhere along your trip!