You can live forever. You can look like you’re 26 forever. You can know everything. But you are only young once, just for a few short years then you can never get it back again – even if you live for 1,000 years.
I try to teach my children to grow and fly, but at the same time I want them to enjoy and savor this time. I want my teens to still be kids and not grow up too fast. That doesn’t mean I want them to be immature babies. It means I want them to enjoy and savor this wonderful time of growth and discovery.
There are many quotes about youth being squandered on the young.
I made so many stupid mistakes – things that I can never undo or take back but at least I learned from those mistakes. Yes, remember that point… LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES. That said, I’ve used that knowledge to be a good parent.
I’ve told my kids to learn from their mistakes. And to learn from their triumphs as well.
I want my kids to spend long nights talking with friends about ideas and solving the problems of the world. I want them to laugh until their sides hurt. I want them to be excited about life and the future.
I want them to fall in love but come to me when their hearts break so I can tell them it will be alright. I want them to fly but I want them to know I’ll catch them if the wind dies from underneath their wings.
I want them to experience college. Not night classes or working for a few years or waiting. I want them to live the dorms and make friends and connections and have that experience of COLLEGE. I didn’t get all of that and I wish, I wish, I wish I could have done that.
My friends of my youth are still my best friends in the universe. I have let my kids know that one of the most important things they can do is to choose their friends wisely.
Things they do will have consequences good and bad. When one is young without experience, philosophically or morally or emotionally they can make bad choices. I have raised my children not to be followers, but to be skeptics. If they’re leaders that is a plus, but never be a follower. You can be blind in your eyes but not in your brain or in your heart.
I tell my teens, “respect yourself and don’t get lost in the feeling that you’re alone. When you grow older you’ll understand that you do have value and that you are someone. Never forget that.”
They’ll know what it is to be different. They know that they’ll move on and their friends will grow old. But like their friends, they’ll have been young once. We can all say we were young once.
I want them to remember it well and have no regrets. Isn’t that what every parent wishes for? And it is what I work for, because I’m their mom.
So dance until the sun comes up, sing out loud, discover the music that makes your soul sing, dare to have ideas, imagine the impossible and love, laugh and learn with abandon.
Be young. And if you’re old, then keep doing everything I mentioned above.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
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