By Michaelene Koskela
Love your body. From your moment of birth every ounce of you was inspected. You are perfectly beautiful. Magazines, media, and marketing will attempt to tell you otherwise. Why? So you buy a product or services to repair the damage the high priced advertising and marketing companies have paid to create. Do not buy into this jargon. Know who you are and love who you are. One caveat- should you have a need to go through a self expressive phase. Choose hair dye to make your statement. Stay clear of piercings and tattoos, these forms of art will require a skilled professional holding either a tattoo gun or a piercing gun. It’s my opinion that tattoos and extra body piercings before the age of 21 should require a parental signed and notarized permission slip. If a child cannot obtain parental approval the next in line to authorize underage procedures will be Cardinal O’Malley and Oprah. No substitutes accepted.
Fall in love. As parents we will bite our tongues, it is possible that one of your first boyfriends will be from a summer job at the mall. You will find him cute and irresistible. We will see him as lazy and disrespectful. He will sit in his 2015 cobalt Yaris, in our driveway, honking the miniscule horn demanding you race out. It would be a great surprise, if your 61 year old mother gets to his car before you do, wielding a wooden spoon and giving directives of were she is willing to place said spoon, should he beep again. You will casually thank me 10 years later when you find out he is still living in his mother’s basement and working the same job at the mall. The secret to love is heartbreak. Every time your heartbreaks you learn. For when it’s real love, all else will pale in
comparison. I love that you are loved.
Dream Big, but live small actions of your dream each day. You may start out not knowing what you want or what makes you happy. I challenge you to find out, explore who you are. Nothing makes me sadder than to come across a person that lives solely to be accepted by his/her peers or worries about what other people think. Make decisions; have a voice, what makes your heart sing? Be compassionate, have humor, be sympathetic, mistakes are your guide, share your talents, volunteer and aspire to learn from others. Once you set your goals, do something small everyday that leads you to your goal. You are amazing.
Have Friends. Have many friends and trust your instincts. A friend is not someone who calls to boast about he new “Benz” or to talk smack about another friend. Do not let peer pressure lead you. If you find yourself ever under a beer funnel, remember who picked all of the raisins out of your granola, if that makes you still want to participate, be responsible, stay safe. A true friend can go long bursts of time between visits and pick up where you left off. Your BFF will show up when you need her most, she will arrive holding a bottle and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. She will never tell you “I told you so” and that evening mixed with laughter, ugly crying and you will dance with reckless abandonment to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”. Be that friend.
Do not post pictures attempting to break the internet. Your rule for posting and sharing: do not post anything you would not want your children to see. Clearly the Kardashians love to share. If you have any doubt about the length of time images stay up on the World Wide Web and who has access, google North West the daughter of Kim and Kanye and let’s see if she follows her parents’ examples. Be humble, accomplishments are greatest when felt.
Time flies. Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) in The Bucket List declared“Forty-Five years goes by pretty fast.” Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) replied “Like smoke through a keyhole.” Today you are four; it’s inevitable you will grow. You will leave the nest. I will always be here for you. Fly baby sparrow, fly.
Forever my love,