- Be Yourself. So many teenagers look around them for how they are supposed to be acting. In the process, they lose an essential part of themselves, what makes them the amazing individuals they are. Don’t be afraid to be who you are, because who you are is perfect.
- Talk About Your Feelings. Many men in our culture are messed up because they don’t know how to express the crazy complex things they are feeling, and many of them are unhappy. In order to be happy, you have to feel the feelings you feel, good and bad.
- Keep drawing. At some point, most kids stop drawing, either because they think what they draw is not realistic or they don’t like the way things look, or they just think it’s not cool. C’mon. Picasso was cool, da Vinci was cool. Drawing is cool. Keep drawing.
- For a model of how to be a man, look to your father. There are many examples of how to be a man, not all of them good. But your own father is the best example you can have: he is smart and silly, athletic and intelligent, sometimes impatient, sometimes impulsive, always kind. If you want to know what you should do, ask him.
- Decide what you believe in and stick to it. As you grow up, you will try on different beliefs and ideas. This is natural. But in your heart of hearts, you know what is right and what is wrong. Don’t be persuaded by someone else to do something you don’t believe in. You will know if this is happening because your heart will hurt. Listen to your intuition.
- Drinking and smoking and drugs are stupid, and can screw up the rest of your life. I’m your mother, and you’re just going to have to trust me on this one.
- Respect women. You are a man, but you came from a woman. All people come from women. Remember that. Along the way, you may be tempted to treat a woman as less than you, and many messages in our culture will tell you that’s okay. Many images in our culture will tell you that girls and women are just a collection of beautiful parts for you to oogle. We aren’t. Always remember, first, that your mother is a woman. And second, ask yourself, what would my mother want me to do? Look women in the eye and make them laugh. That’s all we want. (Remember also that, no matter how big you are, I am still doing Crossfit, so I can still take you.)
- Never lose your sense of humor. Among the many life skills, the ability to laugh at yourself is the most important. Seriously.
- Play sports. This will keep you fit and healthy and, most importantly, keep you out of trouble.
- Love your mother. No matter how big you get, you’re still my son. Don’t forget that.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Ten Things I Want to Tell My Son
Inspired by this, I wrote these: