#69 Be Willing To Make The Assist

There has been some major college basketball watching going on in our house this last month. Triumphs, failures, and even a pretty nasty injury have been televised along the way. One thing that always makes the highlight reel are the slam dunks. It would be hard to deny that a good slam dunk is a great sight. As you move through life I definitely want you to have a few of those take it to the bank slam dunk moments. Moments where you are in charge and in the lime light. Who doesn’t want that for their child? (Ok, maybe a few people).

However, one thing that is even more important to note is that many of those jaw dropping slams and critical three pointers would never have happened without a great and often overlooked teammate assist. To be a successful person in almost any field it is just as important to be able to make the shot as it is to know how to make a great assist. If you want people to back you up during your moment in the spotlight–you have to be willing to return the favor. A great assist can be the difference between a win or a loss, a triumph or a failure, life or death. As you go through life and start being involved in more and more things please don’t be afraid to go in for the assist.

In case you doubt that a great assist can be both amazing and helpful I would like you to watch this video of Steve Nash–king of the NBA assist and multi-time MVP as well as Hall of Famer.

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#67 Don’t Ask A Question If You Aren’t Ready For The Answer

You aren’t four years old yet — but my experience with four year olds is that they ask a LOT of questions. You know what I like about them though? They ask all those questions and they truly want the real nitty gritty answer. It is often the parents or adults who feel awkward about the question asked, and skirt their way around answers when most four year olds I know could more than handle the truth. I wish I could say the same for adults.

Life is full of questions- tough questions at that. Where do babies come from? Where does my dog go when it dies? Am I proud of the person I am becoming? Why did I not get the job I applied for? Now that I have this job WHY did I apply for it? Does he love me? Do I love him? How are you? No REALLY how are you? Do I go to college? Where? Is it time to put mom in a nursing home? Will I be able to retire one day?

You get the point.

I’m making you a promise right now that as you begin to face life’s questions –simple and complex– I will always do my best to be honest with you. To give you the straight answer, and if I don’t know the answer I’ll help you find it. Please be prepared though, because I do not promise to give you the answer you would like, hope for, or desire to hear — if it would be telling you a lie. Don’t think you want an honest answer? Then don’t ask.

I want you to always inquire, to desire to know more about the world around you and yourself. However, the world doesn’t need any more people asking questions who don’t have a thick enough skin to handle the truth. I’m not saying that the answer to every question is something bad or grotesque or discouraging, I just want you to be prepared incase you find out something you weren’t expecting. Ask questions–learn–be pleased with the good and struggle your way through the bad. Just make sure that when you ask, you have your ears and heart ready for the answer.

#57 Don’t Use The Distance Around Your Hips or Number On A Scale As The Value Of Your Worth

There is something to be said about weight and body size in relation to health. However there is no reason that you should let physical numbers determine your value as a human being.

Women (and men too!) are under pressure every day to look and be shaped a certain way. What that shape is, depends on a lot of things including peers, career, and the media. According to your father’s career he should be rather rotund from eating a lot of donuts but if you ask GQ he should be lean and wearing jeans that cost a couple hundred bucks. However neither of those expectations will ever define or fit your father.

I never want you to fall under the illusion that the only thing valuable about you is your size because it couldn’t be further from the truth. As you get older you will feel it–that pressure to fit some mental image of the way you should look that often times is unrealistic. I just want you to remember that value comes from relationships with friends and family, a faith in what you believe, leaving a mark on this world that will last forever, and living your life with your heart. Obesity isn’t healthy and it can lead to an early death, but plenty of young women have succumb to the illness and tragedy of going too far the other way. Every minute that you spend looking in a mirror criticizing your growing and changing body is one that you are missing out on a world of opportunity away from your reflection.

Already as your mom there is no value that can be placed on your head. You are irreplaceable to me and to God. You need to be irreplaceable to yourself as well. I want you to be healthy and I understand that neither you or I will always love our appearances–I also want you to know that there is much more to your life and to your worth than what you wake up and see in a mirror.

#51 You Don’t Have To Win Every Argument — Agree to Disagree

This is a lesson your mom is still working on. I can’t lie–I like to have the last word.

Truth of the matter is that you will never make everyone agree with you. Sometimes that can be frustrating and other times it can be beautiful. Sometimes someone who has a different view point than yourself can really open your eyes. Especially when as humans we tend to have tunnel vision at times–seeing only what we want to see.

One thing that has helped me with this piece of advice is you. Your dad and I definitely have different opinions on parenting at times–from what you should eat to what you should wear. Being able to disagree but still find a solution that has enough common ground for us both to be happy has helped you survive your first year of life! The gentle give and take of our parenting styles has worked to make you a pretty well rounded kid this far.

Also as a new parent everyone has advice for how best to do–well just about EVERYTHING! I quickly had to learn to take the advice with a smile and nod and not spend hours futilely defending my point. Being a parent has really made me realize that sometimes people just do things differently.  Not wrong, just different.

If you have my personality I’m sure you will find yourself fighting for the last word like I always do. I just hope you will know that sometimes its best just to agree to disagree.

However when it comes to Justin Bieber (Yes this may be a long running inside joke)..

This post is an elaboration on an article written by Regina Brett which inspired the start of this blog. You may read her article in full here.

#49 Life Is Too Short To Waste Time Hating Anyone

Dislike? Sure. Not love? Sure. Hate? Let’s try to leave that out.

However I will give you a few exceptions to this advice:

1. Justin Bieber

2. The Green Bay Packers

3. The Iowa Hawkeyes

That would be your family’s three exceptions to this rule..because to sneak in another piece of advice–There is an exception to every rule!

Don’t waste your energy on hate–because it just won’t get you anywhere.

This post is an elaboration on advice given in an article by Regina Brett. The original article can be read in its entirety here.

#41 Just Say No To “Sexting”

Let me start by saying that your father and I have agreed it will be a long time before you have a phone that does much more than this..

That’s right..this little baby by Firefly has a button for calling Mom, Dad, 911, and an option for a few more numbers that mom or dad program in. No texting, no fancy camera, and definitely no internet. Go ahead and throw your fit now. It’s true your dad and I feel it is our job to protect you from yourself as long as we can.

I don’t know who decided that giving 11 and 12 year olds the internet and cameras right in their pocket is a good idea. As a marketing concept I suppose it’s great, but as a save your innocence and your self respect concept it’s HORRIBLE. Please dear daughter never let me catch you involved in the current trend of “sexting”–and I can only imagine the options available to hormone raged teenagers by the time you get to all of eleven years old. There is nothing classy about showing off parts of your body to random guys or even some boy friend you won’t be allowed to have when you’re 13.  It would be even worse if said picture some how ended up in the hands of ALL your peers when you break up with the saggy pants loser, love of your life, boy friend of the month because you guys couldn’t agree what your “song” should be.

When your father and I finally give in and get you a “real” phone, when you’re 30 sixteen or so, please use it responsibly. Use it in a way that won’t allow someone else to hold your self respect in their hands. Use it to call and talk to your best friend late into the night–not send pictures of yourself to some dude who shouldn’t see any of you unclothed ever until you’re married.

Thanks

#40 (?) Take It Easy on the Substitute

It’s true I substitute teach from time to time. I give my substitutes from childhood new respect. Why do I sub? Mainly to pay the bills while enjoying all the luxuries of picking what days I work and being able to stay home frequently with the cute bundle that this blog is all about.

Karrigan please be nice to your subs. Yes, I want you to enjoy what will most likely be an easy, laid back day. However I also want you to respect your temporary teachers as much as your full time ones. These people are here to help you. Who knows, if you are frustrated with a class they might even be able to give you a fresh perspecitve on a difficult lesson. Substitute teachers often get called only an hour or two before they are expected to walk into a class room full of strangers and pick up on any number of subjects and lesson plans. Before you say it is easy I would like to see you try it.

I understand that you  might not have the same focus as you do when your regular teacher is leading the class, but you should. The day might run different than usaul because the substitue doesn’t know your teacher’s schedule. You might know that you can get away with a little more. I’m just asking that before you work to press your substitue’s buttons you consider what life would be like in their shoes. That maybe you should decide to show some respect to a guest teacher like you would a guest in your home. That perhaps you could be the bright spot in someone’s day that you already are in mine.

The main thing here is to remember respect. If you want others to respect you, start by giving it to them.

#37 Give The National Anthem Some Respect

I don’t agree with or understand everything our government or nation does. However, I respect my country for a lot of reasons. If I wanted to, I could write an entire post about why I hate or love any number of things–and the government wouldn’t make me take it down. I can dye my hair purple, I can wear basically whatever I want, I don’t live every day in fear of militia running into my home and ordering my family and I to do something harmful to our well being. Americans have it cushy. Do we have problems–LOTS of them, but when I think of life in some other nations I know we have it good.

This summer our family was at the State Fair and every morning the National Anthem is played. The majority of people stopped and at least looked in the general direction of the nearest flag for the next 3-4 minutes. Gentleman removed their hats, and hands went over hearts. There was a group of people who continued talking, laughing, and generally being disruptive. My heart sank a bit.

Darling, I’m not saying that you have to agree with our government or that you have to love EVERY aspect of the United States–Lord knows I don’t. I AM asking that when you are somewhere and the anthem is played–give respect for just a few minutes to the country that has provided us a home. Theh country where you will most likely go to school and where you have a right to vote for things. If nothing else, do it out of respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day defending this country.

Let it sink in–you live in a land of many freedoms, a land with beautiful mountains and valleys, a land filled with brave people, and sometimes crazy ideas–you live in a America. Even if you don’t love it, please respect it.