Dear Lilly and Molly,
Here it is, almost time to head back to school after a summer that went by entirely too fast. There will be new teachers and new routines, just as there always are when a school year starts. But there also will be a degree of comfort, for both you and me.
At this point in your educational careers, you each are a part of the oldest groups at your respective schools. Next year, when Lilly goes to high school and Molly enters middle school, things will be very different for both of you. You’ll make new friends and find your way, just as you did when you moved to a new elementary school together a few years ago. But it will be an adjustment, all the way around.
I have a feeling that this year, your last in these familiar surroundings, will be a good one for both of you. But as we gather school supplies, shop for new jeans and find out which friends will be in your classes, I want to pass on some bits of wisdom I hope you’ll keep in mind in the coming months.
Yes, you’ve heard some of this before—some of it more than once, even. But it’s important stuff, what I’m about to say, so it bears repeating.
I didn’t really understand most of this when I was your age, certainly not in a way that I could articulate. But just because I didn’t grasp it back then doesn’t mean it won’t help you now. And just because I’m the one sharing it doesn’t mean it’s only for you. I need to remember plenty of these insights too, maybe even more than you.
1. Be the kind of person you like to be around.
2. If people you want to like you are not nice (to you or to others), move on. Always be kind, but don’t purposely choose friends who treat people badly.
3. When faced with a hard choice, think about how it will affect your life later, not just how you feel now.
4. When you get upset about something, ask yourself, “In 10 years (or possibly even next week), who’s going to give a rip?”
5. People often put others down simply to make themselves feel better.
6. When someone you know starts acting differently, there might be a reason that has nothing to do with you. Never forget: hurting people hurt people.
7. Remember who you are (and to Whom you belong).
8. Be who you are. Trying to be someone else is very stressful.
9. The world does not revolve around you.
10. I love you. I’m with you. I’m for you.
11. And so is God.