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Dear Kids

August 6, 2012

Dear Kids,

To my daughter:

Wait as long as you can to shave your legs, pluck your eyebrows or color your hair. Because once you start, you’re signing on for a lifelong commitment.

Don’t flip through the pages of Cosmo or Vogue to compare your beauty to because those photos have been airbrushed. Go to Walmart instead. No airbrushing there.

Every photo that is taken of you, and every email that you write, is forever. Sure, it’s funny now, but do you want that crap plastered across the Washington Post when you run for President?

Give the nerd a chance. See that hot jock over there? One day he’s going to be fat, bald and working at a Blimpie. And when you’re 40, you’re not going to care how many push-ups your husband can do. You’re going to want a sweet, supportive partner who is intelligent and a good conversationalist. And maybe a trip to the Bahamas.

Find an exercise that you can do for a majority of your life like golf or yoga. You only have so many years that your body can handle sliding into 3rd base or doing a roundoff back handspring.

Everything can hurt you: sharp scissors, fast cars, loaded guns, roller coasters, boat rides, carving knives, snakes, spiders, partially cooked chicken, pedophiles, street drugs, snowboarding, scuba diving, roller blading, boys, illness, disease, pointy objects, wild animals, Red #5. It’s my responsibility to make sure that you don’t die – not that you have a good time – but just that you live to see another day.

Don’t hate me for getting you braces in your teens. Look around – 70% of your friends have braces and their parents are paying for them. One day you’ll want straight teeth, but then only 1% of your peers will have braces and you’ll have to deliver pizzas at night to pay the $5,000 orthodontist bill.

I would buy you the world if I could. So my prayer is that I have just enough money to buy you most of what you want, but not enough to buy you everything you want because it will only set you up for future disappointment. And I’m not supporting this Abercrombie habit forever.

When we don’t have internet access or provide you with a laptop computer, iPod Touch, iPhone or webcam, it’s not because we’re poor. It’s because the internet is a scary place. You might visit some disgusting website, or even worse, your boyfriend might want to FaceTime with you after midnight.

Never let boys talk you into sitting in the back row of a movie theater. There’s only one reason that they want to sit there and it’s not to show off their superhuman eyesight.

Don’t let boys talk you into doing anything that you’re not ready to do because, let’s be honest, you’re the one who will face the consequences, and they’ll just high-five their buddies in the locker room at your expense.

In summary, boys can be bad. Try to avoid them until your twenties.

Yes, I know that so-in-so’s mother let her stay out later. And yes, I also know that so-in-so’s mother is letting her go to the party. I don’t care. I’ll give you the same response that’s been used for generations: I’m not her mother.

Go to college. I know that when you’re 18-years-old all you want to do is earn your own money and buy your own stuff, but your college years will be the best years of your life. It’s the small window of time when you’re old enough to have no curfew but young enough to have no mortgage.

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you, too.

When you are at a party and you turn down cocaine, I promise not to be mad at you for drinking a couple of beers. Probably.

Don’t get a tattoo. I don’t care how symbolic you think it is now, because when you’re 87-years-old, they all look ridiculous.

Tequila shots are never ever a good idea.

Don’t ever dance on a speaker box in a nightclub. Those girls are desperately seeking attention. They usually get it, but it’s the wrong type. And sometimes you can see their underwear.

If you go anywhere without hair done, make-up on or wearing some old sweats, you will see at least one person you know. I’m not trying to deter you, I’m just letting you know the facts.

Don’t be the girl who drinks until you puke or pass out. Not only will people make fun of you the next day, they’ll remember it forever. And 20 years later while shopping with your mother-in-law, the last thing you want to do is bump into an old sorority sister and relive the infamous hunch punch party.

I’m not your friend. There are 6 billion people in this world who can be your friend, and only one person who can be your mother. I’m just trying to do my job.

To my son:

Please don’t knock up some bimbo.

Love, Mom

Amanda is metro-Atlanta working mother of two, with a passion for writing and overpriced shoes. She says blogging saves her money, but doesn’t look nearly as good with a cocktail dress. Visit Amanda at Werdyab.

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