Henry could make his debut any day now (and because of my pain and my excitement to meet him, I'm hoping it's sooner rather than later). With his imminent arrival I started thinking about what I would like to teach my son. I'm sure there are many things that I am forgetting, but here are 75 lessons that I hope I can impart upon him:
(1) That he is loved. I want Henry to know how much he is loved--not for who he is or what he does, but because he is.
(2) To be kind.
(3) To work hard.
(4) To enjoy life.
(5) To be himself--unashamedly, confidently, securely, happily himself--true to the person he is without trying to fit into what he thinks others want him to be.
(6) To love others.
(7) To be a critical thinker--using his own brain, gut, and ideas to make decisions. Equipping him to do the right thing in all situations not because he is following a "rule," but because he understands the consequences behind his actions.
(8) To value education. He doesn't have to follow a specific trajectory or even go to college, but to seek knowledge and strive to learn new skills, facts, and lessons.
(9) How to love and value your spouse.
(10) How to be a good sibling.
(11) How to be a good parent.
(12) To trust others.
(13) But to not be taken advantage of.
(14) To trust his instincts and intuition.
(15) Not to give into peer pressure.
(16) To take care of his health.
(17) To never grow up.
(18) But to be mature.
(19) To respect others.
(20) That he is blessed and very fortunate.
(21) To give without expecting anything in return.
(22) To believe in something greater than himself and to have faith in God.
(23) To be a good friend.
(24) To be a good listener.
(25) To be okay with asking for help.
(26) That he doesn't need to be perfect and will make mistakes.
(27) How to deal with mistakes after they've been made.
(28) How to apologize.
(29) How to ask for forgiveness.
(30) Not to let the small things drag him down.
(31) How to prioritize.
(32) To always make times for the things that matter most.
(33) How to know when someone is worth fighting for versus when someone may be better letting go of.
(34) Safe sex.
(35) How to deal with heartbreak.
(36) What love is.
(37) To be a good driver.
(38) To manage his money well.
(39) To clean up after himself.
(40) To be self-sufficient.
(41) But to be okay with relying on others.
(42) To be confident.
(43) But to be modest.
(44) To follow directions.
(45) To be brave.
(46) But not be reckless.
(47) To take calculated risks.
(48) To bake (and cook--we can learn this one together).
(49) To do yoga.
(50) To develop and nurture hobbies and interests.
(51) To be passionate.
(52) To fight fairly.
(53) To be okay with conflict and to face conflict with grace and control.
(54) That you can never please everyone and, no matter what, not everyone will like you.
(55) To stand up for himself.
(56) To be a man of integrity.
(57) To be true to his word.
(58) To follow through.
(59) To pray.
(60) To live a life that makes him happy.
(61) What success is and how to be successful.
(62) The importance of being informed and cultured.
(63) To be open minded.
(64) But not easily swayed.
(65) To be proud of the person he is.
(66) To respect himself.
(67) To love himself.
(68) To believe in his own worth.
(69) That sometimes life isn't fair, fun, or easy, but to keep moving forward.
(70) To be persistent.
(71) To be dedicated.
(72) To be honest.
(73) To never settle.
(74) That family is forever and one of the greatest gifts in the world.
(75) To always strive to make himself, his relationships, and his community, and the world better.