Dear Magnificent Children Of Mine,
I generally ascribe to the theory that low expectations are the key to happiness, which is why there aren’t a ton of expectations I have for the two of you and what your futures will look like. I will not be the parent pushing you into med school, insisting that you get straight As, or hounding you to get married. I do have a few hopes and dreams for you though, so in case you end up reading this blog someday here they are.
I want you to be able to pay your own bills, even if you aren’t at the moment… I just want to know (and for you to know) that you’re fully capable. And I don’t care if you’re making a bazillion dollars a year or 9 grand, I want you to be doing something that doesn’t suck the soul out of you.
I want you to be able to interact with people who are so dumb it makes your eyes hurt to look at them, who are spouting such ridiculous nonsense it makes your ears bleed, with a reasonable amount of kindness and respect. Because 98% of the time being an a-hole is not necessary and is only going to bring you down to their level… I also want you to be able to recognize that 2% when it does happen.
I want you to be the kind of person who is capable of getting basic life-necessary things done on time without constantly forgetting, and if you can’t manage that being smart enough to delegate that to a significant other who loves you enough to pick up the slack. There is absolutely no excuse for going to jail because you forgot to pay a speeding ticket, there just isn’t.
Which brings me to my next point. I want you to either not have a criminal record OR only have things on your criminal record that are awesome and honorable. One or two normal adolescent mistakes can be expunged, if you get beyond those you need to rethink your choices.
I want you to read fantastic books all the way through to the end, I want you to give every book a fair chance to get good, but I want you to be able to stop reading when you realize it sucks. There are too many amazing books in the world to spend time reading ones that are no good just because you don’t want to quit. (Bonus points if you can apply the meaning behind that gem of wisdom to the rest of your life as well.)
I want you to be able to discuss controversial issues, even those you feel strongly about, respectfully with intentions that don’t center around convincing the other person that you’re right. I also want you to know that it’s totally possible you’re wrong, because I guarantee you’re wrong about plenty of things (we all are).
I want you to be aware that “The Bible is very clear about…” is probably the worst way ever to start a sentence.
I want you to have at between 1 and a billion things that you’re passionate about and pursue with everything in you.
I don’t feel like that list is too hard… it basically amounts to being a decent, functioning adult. And I know that sometimes you’re not going to be a decent, functioning grown up. Sometimes you’re going to be the worst, and fuck up royally, and totally fail at things you shouldn’t fail at… it happens to the best of us. And I’ll love you no matter what, even when I’m rolling my eyes at you and asking how on earth you could think X was a good idea I’ll still love the bajeezus out of you. But seriously, the more you could try to live up to this pretty simple list the better your life is probably going to be.
And also, don’t get a mullet.