I sat straight up in bed in the middle of the night, heart pounding.
“What is it, honey?” my husband asked groggily.
“Do you think she knows not to call boys? Have I told her that yet?” I asked.
It’s hard letting your daughter turn 15.
I remember being 15 years old. I think I cried every day that year, always trying to figure out how I fit in a one-size fits-all world.
She is more woman than girl now and she longs for independence and understanding. I’m learning to give her a little of both. She is strong—the change-the-world-kind.
Three years. That’s all I have left with my daughter at home. I long to teach her so many truths. Even though I know life is a great teacher and she’s got my stubborn streak. Yeah.
Last week at church, I watched a mom hug her 30 year old daughter goodbye as she and her family prepare to be missionaries in Africa. I cried seeing the look of pride and brokenness on the mother’s face. I don’t know where life will take my daughter, but I’m holding on a little tighter and learning to let go a little more every day.
And I’m making a list of the lessons I want to teach her (or continue to) before she leaves home:
- Less is more–less makeup, less skin, less perfume, less selfies
- There is a difference between being alone and being lonely: Life can be lonely, but you are never alone because God.
- It’s okay to be alone.
- One good friend is better than 10 who just like your new shoes.
- If in doubt, always wash your clothes in cold water.
- Failure is often a better teacher than success. Even though we usually prefer one over the other.
- Don’t pursue a guy. If he’s into you, you’ll know. You don’t have to call or chase or change who you are. Just wait. The right one will come (you know, when you’re much older).
- You are (skinnier) than you think (prettier, taller, ____ fill in the blank). Embrace your looks. It’s a great way to say thanks to God. Looks aren’t everything, so don’t make everything about the way you look.
- Always carry a little cash in your purse.
- Make your bed. You’ll wake up one day and want your kids too (ask me).
- Compounding interest.
- People are more important than things. Always.
- Laugh at yourself.
- There’s nothing shameful about pausing or quitting a career to become a mom.
- A boyfriend doesn’t make you something you’re not.
- Save more than you spend.
- Procrastination always catches up with you.
- Serving and giving to others feels immensely better than serving and giving to yourself.
- This life is temporary. God is eternal (remember that on a hard day).
- Don’t wish away time. It’s a gift.
- Don’t waste your money on glamour and beauty magazines that tell you what you’re not.
- Be grateful for everything.
- Believe this: you were created to do something that matters. Don’t waste your life on things that don’t.
- No matter how far you travel away from me, I will always, always be closer than you think.