Don’t worry mom or dad, you won’t be grandparents just yet; but you will be someday, hopefully. If and when the time does come, though, here are 10 things I will teach them when they grow out of that cootie phase (by the way, are cooties even a thing anymore?):
1. There’s a 50 percent chance that any of your crushes in middle school won’t be your crush in high school.
2. There’s a 90 percent chance that any of your crushes in high school won’t be your crush in college.
3. There’s a very good chance that you won’t speak to your college crush when you’re out of college.
4. The person you end up with will likely be someone you didn’t expect, and the timing will be just as unexpected.
5. Any person who does not respect themselves does not deserve your respect.
6. Do not change who you are for someone. That does not mean you can’t change things about yourself (everyone needs to compromise at some point); but do not change who you are. At the very core, be yourself. The right person wouldn’t want you to change that.
7. Don’t be afraid to be the one who puts themselves out there. If you’re my son, don’t be afraid to tell a girl (or boy, if that’s what you’re into) that you like them. Don’t feed into the “pretend not to be interested” crap; I expect more from you. If you’re my daughter — and especially if you’re my daughter — don’t be afraid to tell a boy (or girl, if that’s what you’re into) how you feel. Do not feel that people need to approach you with how they are feeling simply because you were born without a Y-chromosome.
8. When it comes time to lose your virginity, pause and really think about it. I thought I was a late bloomer and, in hind sight, I still rushed it. Wait. Pick the right person, because picking the wrong person is something you can’t change. Hopefully we have a good enough relationship that you will want to talk to me (or your mother) about this when the time comes. There is no age limit on when to have sex; just always keep in mind that you can never change your first person and always, always, always use protection.
9. You will have your heart broken, probably shattered, and it will hurt like hell. Nothing your mother or I could say to you will ever take that pain away; we can only hope it doesn’t happen. If it does, just remember that the (metaphorical) hole in your heart will eventually start to close up in time. A small part of you will always still feel a small hole… until the right person comes around and your pain is replaced with happiness.
10. Every event in life — the rejections, the relationships, all the embarrassing things you do (and, being my child, this is an inevitability) — will lead you to the person you are destined to be with. You may want to change certain things about your past, but good or bad, everything has been just another chapter in your book of life. If you don’t believe me, buy a book — any book — and rip out an entire chapter — any chapter — and read it. Now, get a full copy of the same book and read it again. Odds are you’ll find that chapter pieced everything together the way it was supposed to be.