I am writing this post for my son. He is only three years-old, but he is growing so fast. Much of what I wrote to my daughter in the 25 Things I want My Daughter to Know post also applies to him. I wish them both the innocence of their childhood, the ability to laugh at themselves, a spiritual connection with God, and the desire to see the world. That being said, here goes:
1. When I look at you I see my heart.
I never imagined I had this much love to give until I had a baby. I never thought I could possibly have any more to give until I had you. You have taught me that my heart and my capacity to love is not fixed, it grows and grows and grows.
2. It’s okay to let go of your penis. It’s not going anywhere.
Since we finished potty training in our house, I’ve noticed that you hold your penis constantly. I just want you to know that it will be there forever and you have your whole life ahead of you to play with it.
3. I will be happy to buy you a pink ball, a pink balloon, or a pink toothbrush if you so choose.
I understand that through your eyes the color pink is just that, a color. It really makes no difference to you – and therefore should make no difference to me whether you want to wear a pink superhero cape or wings.
4. Your nose is NOT an appropriate place for the following items: crayons, beads, marbles, cheerios, pasta, peas, carrots, french fries, legos, q-tips, or your finger. Period.
5. Play. Draw. Paint. Create.
Creating art should be a constant in your life. It lends great insight to an ever-moving journey and encourages individuality and expression. If you’re doing it right – I expect to see fingerprints on walls, paint on floors, mud on the carpet and even in your hair. Go ahead, experiment!
6. On the other hand, there are rules that need to obeyed when you are in a home. You need to respect others and their possessions. I know boys will be boys, but this is not at all what I have in mind when it comes to creating art or playful fun. In fact, this is a lesson in doing it all WRONG! I would not be happy.
I would be so pissed.
~Although it’s kinda hard not to smile.~
7. Take your time summoning your inner genius.
There is a competitiveness that seems to have taken hold of every elementary school and playground in America. The pressure to learn more – faster, quicker, better than your peers. Never mind that mumbo jumbo. Learning takes time and everyone does it differently.
8. Explore the outdoors.
Get outside as much as possible. Breathe the fresh air. Play tag. Ride bikes. Skip. Hop. Jump. Run. Climb. NOW.
9. Accept others for who they are.
In an age where bullying has taken precedence amongst our youth, I hope I have taught you to see the value in differences. Preps, Emo, Punk, Popular, Nerds, Drama, Jocks – bottom line: It doesn’t matter. Power lies in friendship.
10. Always keep moving forward.
There will be times in your life when you feel stuck. It’s up to YOU to decide where you’ll go. Keep on trekking. Go, go, go kid. You’ll move mountains.
Oh the Places You’ll Go!
11. You are Superman.
To me – you really do have superhuman strength and speed, the ability to defy the laws of gravity, and immunity to almost all forms of harm. How else would you be able to move the desk into the hallway, climb on top of it, “fly” off it – smack right into the wall and get up and walk away unscathed? Answer: You are Superman. Case closed.
12. Love letters are legacies.
In such a fast-paced world, we often overlook the simplest yet sweetest gestures in regards to love. A love letter written from the heart is a welcome treasure amidst the sea of endless emails and texts that consume us daily. They are refreshing, candid, and romantic. Ask your father to teach you, he’s a pro.
13. It’s okay to cry.
Crying is a natural emotional response to feelings. We all do it. Men cry. Women cry. Children cry.
14. Always be proud of who YOU are.
You may not be the quarterback of the football team, the homecoming king, or the lead singer in the band – but really now, who cares? As long as you stay true to who you are, everything else will fall into place. Checkmate.
15. No respectable girl wants to see your penis.
Since you will be growing up in the technological age of iPhone and texting, you’ll inevitably come to learn the term “sexting.” Let me tell you now that sexting is a big, big, BIG mistake. Never ever, ever, ever, ever send a picture of a private body part to anyone. Ever.
16. I hope I teach you well enough from a young age how to properly put on pants. One leg in, then the other, pull ‘em up at least to your hips, zip, button, buckle. Done.
17. Think before you ink.
Tattoos are permanent. I can personally name two of your male relatives who wake up every single day with the pink panther and the tasmanian devil following them wherever they go. Little secret – mommy has a damn turtle she can’t seem to shake.
18. Be an apprentice.
Before you leave for college, you must acquire some skill at performing the following tasks: laundry (separating, washing, drying, folding), making the beds, dusting, washing the floor, cooking, cleaning the toilets, grocery shopping for the week, vacuuming, emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bedroom, watering the plants, feeding the pet. Your future wife will thank me.
19. Be a responsible traveler.
I have no problem with you hitting the open road and taking the old Volvo on a cross country adventure. In fact, I will applaud your independence and desire to see the country from sea to shining sea – but please don’t make me have to book a 3:00am flight to God knows where to visit you in the hospital.
20. Find your passion.
Keep looking and searching. Never stop.
21. You will be my son forever.
There is an old adage that starts, “A son is a son till he takes a wife…” As you grow, I pray our bond stays strong enough to break any truth this saying might hold.
22. Love your Mother Earth.
Recycle, reduce, reuse. Going green isn’t just a trend, it’s a way of life we should all be adopting. You need to be aware of how you live, shop, and consume. An eco-friendly lifestyle will positively impact your health, your community, and your world. Got that? Now go hug a tree.
23. Be a brother. Be a friend. Be a protector.
24. Take the road less traveled.
May you always try to make the right choices, not the easiest ones. Have the courage to lead, not follow. And to dream bigger than most others think is possible.
25. Wherever you are in life, you can come home. I will be here – always.
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Click here to read the list for my daughter.
***New*** Check out the wall print of the list here.