Raising kids is not fun.
Sure, there are fun moments. There are times when you are amazed. In awe. In love. When it’s like this, it’s the purest form of love that there is. But it’s not like that often.
This is probably my fault. I have high expectations.
At 14 years old, even at 10, you should remember—most of the time—to brush your teeth, pick your dirty clothes up off the bathroom floor, not talk with food in your mouth, say please, thank you, excuse me, and get good grades.
Not great grades. Good grades.
School is your only job at this point.
Sure, you have a few measly chores to do. But other than that, all I expect is that you are respectful, kind, and that you do your best in school. I know that you aren’t an expert at everything. I understand that you don’t enjoy doing certain things. I get it. That’s life. That’s part of growing up, learning, and exploring.
You’re going to tell fibs. You’re a kid. You want to do what you want to do—eat candy and treats when you’re not supposed to, go to friends’ houses that I don’t like, and make bad choices that seem fun—I understand. But don’t lie. Don’t lie to me. Don’t lie to your Mom. Try not to lie to anyone. There will be exceptions to this rule that you will discover as you get older. Until you get to that point in life when you know a little white lie will save a whole lot of heartache, don’t do it.
That’s it really.
But not really.
Don’t half-ass things. When you have a chore to do, do it well. If you are writing a paper for English class, do it well. It’s important to learn early on that whatever it is that you’re doing, you should try to do it better than anybody else.
Because it makes a difference.
It makes a difference in how you move through life. It makes a difference in how others perceive you.
I know a lot of people that are half-assers. They aren’t happy. They will tell you that they are happy, that they wouldn’t want it any other way, but they are full of shit. How do I know this? Because the older you get, the better you get a detecting shit. Bullshit, in particular.
That’s why I can tell—nine times out of ten—if you are telling the truth or not.
I expect you to learn a lot of the simple things, because if you do, you will experience more success, love, and happiness than most people in this world.
I will not always be here to tell you once, twice, three times, and four to do your homework. Put your dirty cereal bowl in the dishwasher or give your Mom a hug. I will not be here long. You won’t either. This life is short. Time just keeps ticking. We can’t stop it. But if we can master the little things and look out for others and put good into this world, we can last. Long after we are gone.
I know you might not get this last part. That’s okay. Sometimes, I don’t think I get it either. Like when I yell at you. Or get in your space. Make you feel bad. Cry. I know I shouldn’t do that. That’s not what I set out to do. I’m learning.
Trying to figure this out as I go because I’m fully invested.
Not half-assing it, like so many other parents do.