On the road again

“What advice do you have for me in high school momma?” Teen girl asked. It was one of my favorite parts of the state swim meet–the drive. My girl and I talked–really talked on these trips. 

I love when she talks and I hear her. I love when I talk and she wants to hear me. Not all conversations go that way for teen girls and their mommas. 

The question was sincere. Her desire to listen to what I had to say was real. Hallelujah! 

No pressure. 

  1. Be proud of yourself without caring if your friends are proud.
  2. It’s better to have a few really good friends that you can trust than hundreds of friends you can’t trust. 
  3. Have your own moral compass. You decide what is right and wrong and stand by it. No. Matter. What.
  4. Everyone decision you make should be your own. 
  5. Know what reputation you want to have and let your choices lead to toward that.
  6. What you put out on social media, in pictures or on texts will always exist. Be sure it’s something you can defend or can stand by for the rest of your life. 
  7. Remember high school is about an education. It’s still school.
  8. Study a little every day.
  9. Develop good habits now. Wash your face, excercise, study and take care of yourself…these are habits you will have for the rest of your life. 
  10. Enjoy it! You will never have times like this again. Seize each good moment and learn from each hard moment.
  11. Be kind. Not everyone in high school will be. 
  12. There are things you will be asked to do that you will never, ever come back from. 
  13. If you are ever anywhere that makes you uncomfortable call me. We will have a code that lets me know to get to you immediately no matter what. 
  14. Trust your instincts. 
  15. Someone will hurt you, disappoint you or betray you. Just know that.
  16. Never. Ever. Ever–never try and be dumb to be cute. Intelligence is a gift. Don’t hide from who you are from anyone ever. 
  17. Go to dances and football games; be part of your school…it will always be part of you. 
  18. Don’t be intimidated. You will be but try not to be..you are fierce and strong; witty and smart; sweet and caring. You have nothing to be intimated about. Confidence is a weapon–a shield–a gift. Find it. 
  19. Not everything has to be tight. 
  20. You will make mistakes. That’s what high school is about. But I’ll be here to help you fix them. Never forget I am your mom and that is part of my job. 

What else should I have said?

What advice would you give your child entering 9th grade?

This is the girl that won a gold and silver medal at the state level but is disappointed that she didn’t make it as an individual. This is the girl that checks her gpa everyday. It’s this girl that took herself to a modeling call. It’s this girl that boldly tried out for cheerleading. My girl. 

She’s a different creature than I was. She’s smart and intelligent and beautiful. I was shy and simple and not beautiful. She takes on the world. I hid from it. She is bold. She is kinetic. I want to encourage her to continue to be all of that. I want her to face life and take what she needs unapologetically. I want her to continue to be bold and to shine in her own skin-her own mind. I want her to want more, to aim higher and to not fear the journey. 

Did I give her the advice she needed to do all of that? I hope so. 

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