Four of my grandchildren will be in high school this coming year, one at each grade level: ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade. They are moving into adulthood at an alarming rate.
When they come over, HoneyBunch and I try to set a good example, one that compliments that of their parents who are doing an amazing job.
It helps to know and examine that “good example” every once in a while, since it is not a given that with our age comes wisdom.
I would like to say to each of them:
1. Value yourself and who you are, and do not let anyone take that from you. Learn to be independent and educate yourself as much as you can before going out into the world and starting your adult life.
2. When you give your word, make a promise, stick to it. Know when to apologize when you make a mistake, sin, or take a wrong turn. Don’t repeat the mistake and learn to make restitution for it.
3. Educate yourself about the world, the environment, politics. Educate yourself and find a job that you will like enough to do it for the rest of your life, one that will provide for your needs and those of a family.
4. Do your part in protecting your values and of those who depend on you. Learn to protect and defend yourself. Guard yourself and your values. Be educated enough to know when to dismiss the invasiveness and divisiveness of the world and its insidious rants. An educated mind is hard to sway.
5. Learn to love and trust, show your affection through actions and words. If it does not work out, hold no regrets. Life is messy but well worth the struggle. It is better to love and lose than to never love at all.
6. Protect those who depend on you. Children are a great and wonderful responsibility, but life will stop being about you. It will about them and all their needs.
7. These suggestions are not temporary quests but last a lifetime, so while you are educating your mind and heart, learn to guard your body as well. Eat healthy. Exercise. Keep active so that you can stay mobile and in good health for as long as you can as you age.
8. Lastly, remember that each of you is loved by a fierce army of family who only wants the best for you.