When birthdays for your kids roll around parents scramble to find the perfect gift. But is it another physical thing they need?
My dear friend and well known Brisbane publicist Kath Rose has decided to do something more meaningful for her daughter and son. Each year on their birthdays she is writing them a letter, words of advice, observations and more importantly love.
In a world of consumerism, greed and stuff that just bloody breaks and gets thrown out when spring cleaning, THIS is the way to go people. For when we are gone, our kids will value our words of love more than any fad toy you can give them.
She has kindly given me permission to print her latest two letters. I will start today with her daughters. I hope it will inspire you like it did me.
To our beautiful girl
The world is big, and also small; please don’t rush your life. Take each day as a gift.
Let a butterfly land on your skin. Take your shoes off in the grass. Feel the sunshine on your face. Run in the rain. Watch the sun come up. Understand that LOL and YOLO are not in fact, words. Instead of saying LOL, do it.
Say please and thank you. Listen to kookaburras. Really listen. Dig in the garden. Do not twerk.
Hug properly. Look people in the eye. Take a compliment graciously. Understand that Neil Diamond, Stevie Nicks, Rick Astley and Jimmy Barnes are master artists. Boy bands were around before One Direction -unbelievable, but true. Love the feeling of ink on your fingers after reading a newspaper. Remember Apple is a fruit too.
Sit around a campfire and tell ghost stories. Eat with your fingers. Acquaint yourself with a broom, a vacuum and a rake – these are not diseased objects we keep in the house. Read real books. Eat real veges. When I ask you to clean up, I do not mean defrag the iPad.
Love your brother, I know he stinks and he’s a womble, but one day he’ll probably be a tradie and they are invaluable. Understand that any “cheeks” exposed to the general public should be braised and slow roasted and served in an overpriced restaurant by nonchalant wait staff. The same goes for midriffs.
Never, ever judge anyone by their colour, education or income – if you do, you will know the real meaning of being white with fear, unable to think, and without ‘value’.
Speak in sentences. Call mums and dads Mr and Mrs. Clean your bloody room. Spend more time with faces than Facebook. Your heart will break from mean people and boys, but that’s OK because the sun really will come up tomorrow. Please assume the best.
Love the fact you live where you do. Remember, words are by far the harshest weapon, use them wisely.
Know that everything and anything you will do that’s naughty, Man Mountain and I both did before you (and before the bloody internet). Earn respect and trust. And give it when earnt. Respect the fact that Madonna wrote most modern songs. Look for the kid at school who’s on their own, they need a mate. Watch Achy Breaky Heart on Youtube, it’s no masterpiece but everyone over 30 knows it, and everyone under 30 knows the daughter of the bloke who wrote it. The 1980s were not “the olden days” so please stop referring to them as such. Watch Top Gun – it was before Tom Cruise went weird. Google Princess Grace of Monaco, she gave kudos to the title. Read Caine & Able. Read the Bible and the Koran, the similarities are yours for the understanding.
Cook a cake from scratch (sorry, you know I never did and am not the best kitchen mum). Respect our indigenous history, its part of your heritage. Wear sunscreen every day. Stop breaking our balls about being on time! Know that Justin Bieber is a little twat who needs, oh, about 5 minutes with the Man Mountain to see the world clearer.
Be an advocate for equal rights – for men and women, for gay marriage. It’s really, really, really important.
Know that Man Mountain and I are watching you every minute of the day. Be prepared for your first few boyfriends to be scared senseless by the Man Mountain. Love people who love animals, they are good people. Please eat more protein. Walk the dogs more. And know, that no one on the face of this planet will ever love you more than us.
Mummy & Daddy H