Do you at times think back to your childhood or growing up years and remember some of the words of wisdom which your parents may have repeated to you ever so often. Words that you may have rolled your eyes at in your youth but find yourself repeating to your kids in some form or another now. Well I know I do.
These words of wisdom were often about life, choice of friends and the eventual choice of a life partner. And as much as we rolled our eyes at those words, I have a feeling our parents did enough ‘drilling’ over the years for those words to have some impact on the choices we have made in life and on defining who we are today.
So here are some of my ‘words of wisdom’ that I hope to impart to my son and daughter.
To both my children
Life is never fair. Trust me, you will come across enough obstacles, failures and even successes in your lifetime to help you realise that. But the earlier in life you accept this fact, the faster and easier it will be for you to pick yourself up after each failure and face the next obstacle again. Because it is only when you accept this fact that you will stop throwing tantrums about life and stop playing the blame game. You will learn to, as cliche as it sounds, make lemonade out of lemons that life serves you and you will be happier.
Life will also throw many curveballs at you and some may even rock the very foundation your life is built upon. For your sake, I hope you encounter enough curveballs to keep you grounded but none of the foundation shattering ones.
When life throws you these curveballs, Pray. Don’t be mistaken, praying will not make them go away but praying will give you the strength and faith to carry on.
To my Son
Be a gentleman. Open doors and pull out chairs. Chilvary may be dead for some people but needing to be thoughtful and respectful is very much alive.
Do not carry her handbag. Not mine or your sister’s, not your girlfriend’s or your wife’s. Instead offer to carry her bags, her loads and her burdens but don’t be offended if she declines.
Allow your other half to be an equal to you. Listen to her opinions and trust her instincts. Allow her to drive you.
Allow her to cry and never ever belittle her tears or emotions. Be honoured that she is opening up her vulnerabilities and insecurities to you. If you don’t know what to do, just embrace her.
You will make friends and enemies. You need to be able to tell one from another. Sometimes it is not easy to tell the difference.
Always put your family first. Even in the face of building your career and wanting to provide for your family. Know that a powerful and successful man is one who goes home to a family who loves, knows and adores him and those emotions are not bought with money or gifts.
To my Daughter
Empower yourself. No matter how heavy those bags are, learn to carry them on your own. Do not make your partner carry your handbag.
Learn to drive a car. It will put you in control of your own time and give you the freedom and independence you need so that you never need to wait around to be ferried. Trust me, it will make a difference to your relationship.
Be strong, be independent and walk along side your partner as an equal but never get so carried away in this new era of female equality and independence that you forget to be vulnerable.
Allow yourself to cry, allow yourself to be emotional (well just not irrational emotional), ask for help when you need it and don’t be afraid to let him help you with the bags (just not the handbag :p). I know this sounds like a whole bag of contradictions – why are you asking me to let him carry my bags but yet want me to be strong enough to carry my own bags.
It is simple my little girl, you need to make sure that you are a strong, independent and stable woman in your own right before you can be part of a meaningful relationship of equals.
You need to be with someone who is willing to take care of you but will not belittle your strength. You need to be with someone whom you feel safe enough to open your insecurities and vulnerabilities to and know that he will still see you as an equal.