Recently my son, Micah, and I were heading home from camp when the song “Dear Younger Me” by Mercy Me came on. If you haven’t heard the song, it is a great one! Micah (11) quickly piped up and said “I don’t get this song, why would you want to tell your younger self stuff?” I responded,“There are things that as you get older you realize may not have been the smartest move to make.” Micah replied,“But if you didn’t do all the WRONG things wouldn’t you have missed out on some of the best things in life?” As I thought about that statement made by my way too mature 11-year-old, I realized that he may be right about that for some things but there are a few things I would have done differently. Later on our ride home, I shared with my son this short list:
Care a little less about what others think:
You see, when you are younger there is a lot of pressure coming from parents, family, friends and classmates who all want you to do things their way. As you get older you realize that your list of people whom you need to listen to gets a little smaller. If I could do it all over again, I would not let the opinions of classmates influence my decisions. I would listen to my gut and heart because most of the time I knew what the right decision was before thinking it through. When you were about six you looked at me completely serious and said “Life is too short to wear matching socks!” Remember that and be uniquely YOU.
If you are anything like your mother, you will be worried about it all … tests, deadlines, and grades – constantly! Now don’t get me wrong, those are important but there is no use losing your sanity over an A+. So do your best to study the best that you can and relax; chances are you will do just fine on that test. Go to friends’ houses, stay up WAY too late and laugh until it hurts! Those are the things that you will remember most when you’re old like me!
Your parents really do know best:
I know, I know this is a hard one to believe but I promise you that your parents truly have your very best interest at heart. So when they tell you that you should not go to a certain party or stay up all night texting your friends, chances are they are doing what is best for you. Also, one day they won’t be around for you to talk to so tell ‘em you love them! Go to the football game with Dad or let Mom take you shopping; they are enjoying spending time with you and watching you grow up! They know you best and so most of the time they give the very best advice.
That day I realized that my little baby boy was growing up. I think Micah was right when he said that I would have missed out on some of the best times of my life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes growing up and learning on my own and that really did make growing up a lot of fun! These are just some things I think would have made growing up a little less stressful and painful.