1. You don’t have to be afraid to come to me with anything.
I’m not your mom or dad and I’m not going to punish you for whatever mistakes you’ve made. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to be the person in your life you can lean on whenever the world feels like it’s falling apart. Whenever you think you’re totally alone in this world and you have no one? Call me. Text me. Facebook me. Whatever your preferred method of contact is – DO IT. Let me know what’s going on and I’ll be there. I can’t promise I won’t call you out when you’re making bad decisions or doing something I don’t think is the best idea but there is no issue in life too big or too small to talk about.
2. I’m always going to support you and your dreams.
What is it you want to do in life? What inspires you and motivates you? These are the things I want you to think about. I don’t expect you to know right now, but I want you to be conscious of the things that make you excited about life. Whatever it is you want to do, just know I’ll always have your back. You can talk to me about your dreams, your hopes, your ambitions and I’ll be there rooting you on from the sidelines, pushing you to succeed, and doing whatever I can to help you along the way.
3. If mom or dad doesn’t have the cash or the time to do something you really want/need let me know about it and I’ll see what I can do.
I remember what it was like growing up without a lot of money and how great it was when my aunt would splurge on me. Sometimes parents have tough times with money or they’re overworked at their job and don’t have a lot of free time. Whether it’s a new outfit for school, rides to and from an extra-curricular activity, a chaperone on a field trip – I want to know about it. I can’t promise I’ll always be able to help you out but if it’s something you really want, I’ll try my best to make it happen.
4. If you ever need a no questions asked ride from somewhere call me.
We’ve all been there. I don’t care how late it is or where you need to be picked up from, call me and I will come get you.
5. If you’re going to drink before it’s legal at least let me be there.
I’d rather have you experiment with alcohol with someone who is looking out for your best interest than at a random party with a bunch of dipshits who probably won’t even hold your hair back when you puke. I know those types of parties will happen anyway but seriously, if you’re thinking of starting to drink, can you tell me so we can talk about it? At the very least I can share some of my embarrassingly hilarious experiences.
6. And that goes for sex too – I’m here when you need to talk.
Sex is an uncomfortable thing to bring up with the ‘rents. It can be hard for a mom or dad to see their child reaching the age when they can actually make their own decisions for themselves, especially when it comes to sex. If you have questions about any of it – what it’s like, how to get birth control, if you need someone there for your first pap smear visit – I got you.
7. You should reread the books that deeply move you.
Whether they make you laugh, cry, or change the way you see the world, reread the books that bring to surface your deepest emotions because these are the books that will stay with you long into your adult years. Reread them and you’ll find something new within the pages every time.
8. Wear sunscreen.
9. Keep a journal.
Every day write at least one or two sentences about what’s going on in your life, even if it’s something as simple as what’s on your mind, the weather, what happened in school. Fill the pages up with your words and when you get older you’ll be so grateful to have the memories down on the page.
10. Go for the one who makes you laugh.
I know we all go through phases with the types of people we’re interested in dating. It’s natural to explore your sexuality and experiment with the varying degrees of love and lust. My best advice – go for the one who makes you laugh or otherwise you’ll be bored to tears.
11. Make friends with people who are different than you.
Befriend the odd kid in class, the person who sits next to you on the bus, or someone you see all the time but have never talked to. Make friendships with people who come from different cultures. Seek to understand the human experience from all angles. This is how you will grow and understand the world better.
12. Travel as far as your budget allows.
Grab your best friend and a camera. Go backpacking. Take a roadtrip. See the world. It could be half away around the world or only 50 miles away. Whatever you do – just get out there. Get lost. Explore. You’ll find within nature, within foreign cities, within unexplored parts of your own community there is so much to learn. Be kind. Be curious. There is so much for you to experience out there.
13. Don’t ever sacrifice your dreams or needs for a man.
Before you can truly love someone else you must love yourself first and foremost. Find someone you don’t have to hide from – someone who accepts who you are today, right now, in this moment. You deserve nothing less.
14. Know that we’re both going to grow and evolve over the years, but that will never change my love for you.
The person I am now is likely not going to be the same person in three years, five years, or ten years. And you won’t be the same person either. We’re both going to be changing and evolving as we get older because that’s just a part of life. You might see me change jobs, cities, or significant others, but the one thing that will never change will be my unconditional love for you. It doesn’t matter what time zone I’m in or what’s going on in my life, you’re always a priority.