12 Lessons for My Son on His 12th Birthday

like father like son

like father like son

DSCN06451. Be yourself. You are amazing just as you are. So, wear briefs instead of boxers if you feel like it. Trust me. Life is so much more than that 6th grade boy’s locker room.

2. Be a good friend. Pick up your phone even if you don’t feel like it–you never know when it could be THAT call.

3. Be kind. I saw you help Hadley strap her helmet on when she was giving up on it. Be THAT kid. You never know when it could save someone’s day, spirit, or life.

4. Be brave. “All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage to change the world.” Have THAT kind of courage.

5. Be funny. You make me laugh every day. Like the time you were about six and used Grandma’s bird caller to attract all the robins to the deck. You then pushed the “hawk” button over and over again to watch them flee in terror. And….don’t forget to laugh at yourself. Trust me. I am a pro at that. DSCN1523

6. Be helpful. Except leave the diagnosing of your friends to your Dad. I won’t remind you of the unfortunate “you have strep throat!” proclamation that turned out to be poison ivy. IMG_0045

7. Believe in yourself. Maisy is a tough act to follow. But you ARE absolutely as smart as she is, even if we sort of suck at telling you sometimes.

8. Exercise. Trust me it is so good for your body and mind. You don’t have to play soccer and lacrosse and football but you do NEED to exercise. Ride your bike, shoot hoops in the driveway, or shred (yes I can so say that word..it is not just for Dads.)

9. Study. I don’t know any of my friends or my friends friends that became professional athletes or actors making millions. But I know tons of people who paid their dues in school. They are now changing the world–one solved case, one saved patient, one perfect bridge, one brilliant breakthrough, or one inspired student at a time.

10. Be careful. I wish I could wrap you in bubble wrap so you never get hurt. Because honestly, the thought of something happening to you stops my heart. But, since life as a twelve year-old is hard enough, I will put the bubble wrap away and settle for a seatbelt, a helmet, a pair of wide open eyes and a solid brain (see #7) that you remember to use every single day.

11. Love someone with your whole soul. That will fix A LOT of things. 20130612-222352.jpg

12. If you ignore lessons 1-11, just remember this one. Be just like Dad. DSCN0439


  1. Oh my, #12 got me…..

  2. Sheila Houser says:

    What a awesome way to wish your son a happy 12 th birthday.

  3. Love this! I hope this gets framed! Great advice!

  4. This is beautiful and something to be saved for his one day 12 year old……

  5. Beautifully said. Hope your boy had a good birthday.

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