Advice is funny. Sometimes? Sometimes it comes along when you aren’t even looking for it. Here’s the best advice I never gave.
Just between us?
I have been known to climb up on a soapbox or two.
I can’t help it.
I have these four children and even though they think they are grown—in my opinion they still need my advice.
I just start talking and sometimes without warning…
…an opinion or two spills out.
I have soapboxes about manners.
And being kind.
And remembering to walk in someone else’s shoes.
And how essential reading is.
And the overwhelming importance of learning the difference between their, there and they’re.
But my favorite?
The soapbox that is ever on the ready (especially lately with all these college dates)?
It’s all about THIS.
The twins could recite this soapbox by heart.
It’s all about respecting yourself and knowing your value and choosing wisely when it comes to a boyfriend.
A boyfriend who treats you well.
A boyfriend who opens the door for you and listens when you talk and takes you to a restaurant that doesn’t have a drive-thru and is nice to your family and respects you and goes to romantic movies if you want to….
….and who is generally wonderful.
Just like their dad.
Most of the time no one listens when I get on my soapbox.
They’ve heard it all before.
But lately? Lately, it’s been different.
They are home for the summer with freshman year behind them and somewhere along the way I started getting smarter. Lately, I’ve had two pairs of big blue eyes hanging on my every word to hear my best advice.
In the middle of one of my soapbox lectures, one of the twins interrupted, “Mom….umm…..excuse me…., Mom.”
I almost didn’t stop talking.
I was on a roll.
I was right in the middle of whether or not a boy should stand up when someone leaves the table at dinner and trying to decide if anyone even did that anymore and maybe that was setting the bar too high for the legions of future boyfriends.
“Mom,” she sighed. “I’m just going to worry about all this in the future when I choose my boyfriend.”
I stared at her sternly.
“You don’t ‘choose’ your boyfriends,” I said emphatically.
“You should let the boys call you.
And let the boys ask you out.
And meet your parents before they take you on a date,” I said.
And I heard the soapbox shiver as I stomped on it once more for good measure.
“Oh Mom,” she giggled.
“You are so funny. I didn’t mean it like that. What I meant was—first I’m going to choose the boy I like……
…..and then I’m going to make him think it’s all his idea.”
Then she paused and grinned, blinked twice, and added “You know…..
…..”just like you did with Dad.”
And just like that, in the middle of a blue and white living room with the birds chirping and the sun shining…
….I could feel my soapbox kicked right out from under me. 🙂
PS I love you twinnels.
PPS I also try and teach them this, too.