Dear Jack and Ollie,
While you are still young, impressionable, and somewhat influenced by your mother, I want you to hang on to these pearls of wisdom for when you are eventually too cool to kiss, cuddle and hang out with me. So in no particular order…..
20. Dreaming is fun – and important. Dream big – and don’t be afraid to make it a reality. If you want to be a professional soccer player – we will practice together to get you noticed. If you want to join the ballet – we will find you a place to teach you how to dance. If you tell us that you are gay – we will support you 100 percent.
19. School is important, but it’s not the be all and end all. This is not an excuse to let your grades drop because you don’t feel like making an effort. We need to see that you are trying your hardest with your school work. That’s all we can ask for; and if it’s still not working out, we’ll look at alternatives like a trade, or a job.
18. The secret to success is to live happily. It’s not the wealth that you build, but the life that you lead. Live carefree, but wary of obstacles which may be a detriment to your happiness. Surround yourself with good, honest friends and family. Give back to your community, and don’t expect to be recognised. This is how to be happy.
17. Respect your parents, friends, girlfriends, wives, the elderly, and people of authority. It is important to respect people’s views on life, even if they differ from your own opinions, and recognise the importance of free speech.
16. Motorcycles are dangerous, and your mother won’t allow you to ride or own one.
15. Don’t ever be ashamed of what you believe in. You have a good head on your shoulders, with a great support group around you. Not everyone will respect your view, but that is their problem to deal with.
14. You were put on this earth to make a positive impact on it, and other people’s lives. It’s not your place to make someone else’s life miserable. Be thoughtful, considerate and most of all, supportive.
13. If you get a tattoo, Mummy will not be happy – but it’s your body to destroy as you will. Remember, if you get a naked lady tattooed on your arm, she’ll be a gross, wrinkled old bag when you get old. Try explaining that to your grandchildren!
12. Being polite will get you far in this world. Many children grow up without the knowledge and in-built respect to say please and thank you. EVERYONE appreciates a polite and courteous person.
11. Be friends with the geeks at school. You never know if they will be your boss one day…. Or if they will be willing to help you make your first million.
10. If you become a bully and we find out that you are making someone’s life hell, we’ll certainly teach you what it’s like to be bullied yourself.
9. Don’t be ashamed of anything. You have a beautiful life, body, family and a strong sense of belonging. We are your support circle if things may bring you down. All you need to do is talk it out with us, and we will get through whatever it is that is troubling you, together.
8. We will have to lock you in your room forever if you decide to become one of those extreme sport fanatics. You don’t want to give your parents a heart attack, do you?
7. Money is something that has to be earned. You will start a part-time job while in school, and you will earn the money you need to spend on clothes, cars, computers, dates, etc. We’ll help out with loans, but you must learn the importance of saving.
6. I know it must seem like we stop you from doing things you like, or places you want to go, all the time. We just have your happiness and safety at heart, and are trying to have you avoid any possible troubles. Trust us when we say that we would love you to experience freedom and have fun, but there are a lot of nasties out there that you may not be aware of.
5. You will be raised to be responsible citizens of society. Everything that happens in life, results from a choice that you have made. Be responsible for your choices – good or bad. Own up to your mistakes, and learn from them. You will go far in this world if you take responsibility and run with it. If you have a child, you will be its father. If you crash your car because you’re driving stupidly, you will pay for it. If you rack up fines for breaking the law – you will pay for them. Use your head, and think about the consequences and rewards of your choices.
4. Be sentimental. There are moments and things in your life which you should cherish and share with future generations. You will be inheriting things which I have had given to me from my great-grandparents. Throw this stuff out, and I’ll have to haunt you for the rest of your lives.
3. Keep learning. Every stage of life can be improved upon if you are willing to make an effort to learn something new. You may be a genius in one field, but a genius in more than one is just going to open more opportunities for you.
2. Be kind to each other, because one day, you may only have each other to rely on. You only have one brother, and that is a special bond which should be cherished.
1. Trust your instincts. That feeling in your gut is sometimes more trustworthy that your head. You have been raised to know the difference between right and wrong; to be aware of dangers in our society; and you know the feeling of love. Take the hint and run with it!
Seriously….. if you buy a motorbike, I’ll find a way to destroy it.