Today, one of my colleagues mentioned that her son is heading off to college this Sunday. My heart hurt for her. Of COURSE, I want my boys to move along - boldly - when that time comes. In the mean time, here's what I'm hoping I can help them grow to know:
1. Everyone is just as important as you are. You are just as important as everyone else. Most people are fascinating. In a social situation, ask lots of questions as long as the answers are flowing freely, with enthusiasm. And when someone starts squirming, stop interrogating them. (Then apologize, tell them you're a journalist and you just can't turn off. This has worked for me.)
2. Don't fight so hard. Humor is the best way to deflect tension. Going for a run works too. (I'm hoping that I will learn these things in the next 14 or so years too.)
3. You should follow your dreams and be what you want. (Um, even if that means dressing up as Mickey Mouse for Halloween. Seriously, Jules? Mickey Mouse sucks. I say this here only because you can't read yet. To thine own self be true. )
4. Speak your mind-but it's rude to interrupt others. And if you can't stop - it's in your DNA, you're half Italian and grew up with loud, interrupting parents after all - explain to new peeps that you're fighting hard against this tendency but losing the battle. Ask them to interrupt you back.
5. Yes, you can run that marathon. You can study animals in Africa for a living. Or pursue a professional music career. But you'll have to work hard. And you'll give up other stuff. Hmm... I think this is a rep of #2.
6. How to make whip together a salad with whatever you have on hand, bake an enviable apple pie and simmer up a mean curry. Everyone loves a good cook. You should know how to make meals. Simple delicious meals from real ingredients. Maybe even ones that you grow yourself.
That's all for now. And this list is by no means comprehensive. Or prioritized. But it is important.