That’s right, an actual epiphany. I’ve always wanted to drop that word here on the blog. It’s cool how it can make List Wednesday sound like something really momentous. Plus, I figure, if you have a kid graduate from high school, and don’t have an epiphany of some sort, you’re probably doing it wrong.
A friend of mine who also has a child graduating this week had an epiphany, too. Or maybe it was just an emotional outburst; I’m not exactly sure. She texted me to say that she unexpectedly fell apart in the car when she heard Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up come on the radio. Naturally, I’d like to laugh about that, but the truth is, none of us know how or when it could hit. It’s best we keep our laughter on the inside and not judge each others’ pitifulness in such times.
The first time I got teary was about a month ago, when Brandon brought home his cap and gown. The cap and gown were no big deal. But then he turned the thing over and I saw the dern tassel hanging there. I’m not prone to sudden outbursts of weeping, so my family stood staring at me with strange expressions. I felt I should explain, so I wailed, “The tassel! It was the tassel! I wasn’t ready for the dumb tassel!” I’m sure that cleared everything right up.
I cried again last week when I made his lunch. I thought it would be funny to write a note with a sharpie on the outside of the brown paper bag, but halfway through, that lunch sack somehow began to embody all the other lunches over the past 13 years. I was in the middle of writing a sentence like, “This is the last high school cafeteria lunch of your whole entire life, so tell all your friends I said hi,” and my eyes began to fill. Somehow, I didn’t just see the brown paper bag; I saw the Taz lunch box he carried to kindergarten and the Batman lunch box he toted to 2nd grade. Awesome.
I think another reason I’ve cried is that it’s a little scary. I wonder if I’ve taught him everything I should. There are so many things we parents overlook as we try to help our kids along in the maturation process; things like, how to pick a restaurant when you’re with a group. I mean, I’ve been in a lot of situations where people want to go out to eat together, but no one wants to say where. It seems to me that’s a life skill that’s not often covered.
Let’s face it; life gets harder, not easier.
This List Wednesday, I’d like you to help me with that. Feel free to comment bits of wisdom for Brandon and other graduates that we, and other well-meaning parents, might have failed to mention along the way.
I’ll go ahead and get us started.
It’s true, pizza can be delivered right to your door, and it is delicious. But you probably shouldn’t eat that every day. Once a week is more than enough. As for that Sonic that’s across the street from your apartment with its more than 168,000 drink combinations? Same principle applies.
Do something every day to break a sweat. Or take a nap every day. One of the two.
When you’re having people over, make brownies. They are the wellspring of life, and a maker of friends. But not when you use oil that you previously used to make french fries.
Have your own style, and please don’t let it include Chacos.
If you’re going to run bath water, turn off the TV first. Otherwise, you might sit down for a moment and then get so caught up in a rerun of ER that you forget all about the bath water, which has now flooded your bathroom and is also flooding the apartment of the couple living next door. At least, that’s the way I imagine it could happen.
Tell me about your girlfriends. You can go ahead and send pictures, too. But there’s no need to bring anyone home to meet me unless you’re really serious. This should not happen for several years.
Please…for the love…clean your bathroom. Wash your towels, too. That’s a kind of gross that could keep me lying awake at night.
Let’s get these grads ready for the real world with nuggets of oft-overlooked wisdom. Serious or funny…doesn’t matter. What are some things you wish someone had told you when you graduated from high school? What are some things you hope you teach your kids?