One of the things that weighs on me the most about parenting is teaching my son "life lessons". The things that I've learnt - slowly, sometimes painfully - that I want to somehow confer to him without him having to go through the same things I had to.
Others lessons are more simple, things that I think are important but will hopefully transfer through everyday activities rather than deep and meaningful entirely one-sided conversations with a monosyllabic, probably grumpy teenager to-be.
Here are my top ten life lessons, to my son:
- Be kind, always, but with the knowledge of when to walk away. I hope you will learn who is worth your time and care, and who is beyond returning it.
- How to cook - it will do me good to know you can feed yourself on things other than dominoes pizza and kebabs (though let's face it that's all you'll eat for at least 5 years of your life, just like your Mum did!)
- Tidiness - I'm a pig, and I hate it. I'm trying to teach you that cleaning is fun! Hurray! Currently this is mainly letting you squirt water everywhere pretending that it's "chemicals", but it's a start. YOU certainly enjoy it anyway...
- That if you try your very best, you don't have to feel bad if you don't succeed. It's not the worst thing in the world to lose sometimes. Seeing as you are a hyper-competitive child who has clearly inherited the competition gene from both sides of several generations, this might be the most difficult thing to teach you.
- To be a feminist. Sorry son, but you're in for some lectures when I hear you say "but that's for girls" I promise not to force you to wear pink, but I might force you to read Germaine Greer if I think you are denigrating the opposite sex purely because they have a - what did you call it the other day? - "knuckles" (No I don't know what that means or where it came from either. A knuckles?!)
- That you don't aspire to be happy, it happens when you learn to appreciate the small stuff. Friends, a loving family - all the little things that don't cost you anything if you do it right. I won't let you waste your life searching for something that is right there just waiting for you to notice it.
- To love books - this is going to be hard as you'd much rather be jumping on the bed than reading in it but I will persist! Books can take you anywhere, make you feel everything. I'm starting with a crash course in all things Dahl.
- To look after your teeth (dentists are the minions of Satan, but obviously I won't tell you that. I'm just hoping you won't notice that I get a bit pale and sweaty and slightly wild-eyed when I take you to see one.)
- To expand your horizons - look up, look about, look around. The world is amazing and you can learn every day just by noticing something other than where you put your feet. Not that putting your feet down sensibly isn't important - just ask your Nanna about dog-poo-on-the-church-pew-gate.
- To never stop asking questions, about anything and everything. A thirst for knowledge is a thirst for life. Yes, it drives me insane when you ask me the same question with a minute variation (or just the same question) 4576 times in an hour,but I'll suck it up. Just for you.
You can find more ramblings over at Mumzilla, should you be so inclined.