Dear Adrian and Finley, (I feel the need to put a disclaimer here that I placed your names in sequence of age from oldest to youngest, not in sequence of favourite son...let the record state that I love you both the exact same amount.)
As your Mother I feel it's my duty in life to give you unwanted advice. And with that I actually mean I've made a list of what I feel you should know to live your lives to it's full potential. I don't really know what the hell I'm doing or how I'm doing at this Motherhood gig to be perfectly honest. So this is kind of a reference for us both. Take heed my sons'. Take heed. And I shall do the same. (Or just humour me. That works too.)
1. Manners. I taught you them at a very, very early age. Use them. No woman can resist a man with lovely manners. Prove to the world that chivalry is not dead.
2. Take care of the Earth. Please. I also have taught you this at a very young age and there is still so much more to learn in the years to come. DO NOT LITTER. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And compost. It's great for the garden.
3. Learn how to cook and cook well. I am your Mother and I am a very good cook. I will teach you the basics but you must continue to experiment as you grow into adults. Cook for your girlfriend often and not just in the early stages. Continue to cook for her when she becomes your wife. It comes in very, very handy.
4. Treat every living thing with respect. (Except when there are bees living under your front steps. Then by all means have a bee massacre. They are stubborn little bastards. Oh and mosquitoes are okay to smush too. Especially if they're sucking on your blood. You may know by the time you're reading this how much I despise those vampiric insects)
5. Read. Read anything. Read everything. Fiction, non-fiction. Magazines, newspapers, BOOKS. "The more you read, the more things you will know." Dr Seuss
6. Exercise. And I don't mean turn into some weird bulked up freaky version of yourself. Exercise because you enjoy being healthy. Ride your bike, swim, play sports, run. Work out at a gym if that's what you love to do (that's what I love to do). Exercise for the sake of not just your body but for your mind. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
7. Have an attitude. But make it a positive one. A positive attitude along with great manners is a winning combination. It's not always your aptitude in the game of life but your attitude that will work wonders.
8. Laugh at yourself. If you can't laugh at yourself in life you're screwed.
9. Apologize when you're wrong. (Admittedly this is still a hard one for your Mother to do...so I will apologize in advance for that.)
10. Be yourself. Be real. Be genuine. People will see right through you if you're anything but your beautiful, quirky, smart, funny self. "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you." Dr Seuss (I can't promise that won't be the last Dr Seuss quote here - he was one brilliant man)
11. Take responsibility for your actions. This is something I hope to ingrain in you both. It is an exceptionally important thing to take accountability for your actions or you will never become a reliable adult. Learn from your mistakes.
12. Travel as much as you can (and as safely as you can) while you can. I would definitely prefer you do this with a friend. But please do it before day to day life and major adult responsibilities sets in.
13. Work Hard. Laziness will get you nowhere fast.
14. Learn the value of a dollar. I feel it is my responsibility to teach you this and I will do my darndest but after that it's all up to you.
15. Marry an independent woman that challenges you. Wait at least 2 years before you propose. Live with her first. (and make sure I love her too or life will just become all that more complicated)
16. Always, always put the toilet seat down when you're done. Just do it.
17. DON'T DO DRUGS. EVER. (I will find out.)
18. Eat healthy.
19. You cannot control people, situations or anything in life. You can only control yourself and how you handle what life throws at you.
20. Be a good husband. This means being present in her life. This means being thoughtful. This means being affectionate and loving. This means allowing her to have her own life, passions and hobbies. This means being supportive of her. This means finding out about all of her favourite things and making note of them and doing something with that information. Find out her favourite colour. Her favourite smells. Her favourite chocolate bar. Her favourite store. As a man I know once said during a speech to his son on the day of his wedding..."Lovingly stalk her".
21. Be empathetic and do your damndest not to judge a book by it's cover (this is a hard one). Remember...everyone has a story.
22. Have integrity. Be honest and kind.
23. There will always be people in the world that have more than you and there will always be people in the world that have less than you. Just always have that thought in the back of your mind.
*Okay boys, brace yourselves for this one because it's about to get reeealll awkward up in here in the next couple of sentences:*
24. Use a condom. Make it special not necessarily for you but for her. Don't be stupid. Don't be rash. Make sure you truly care about her for sex will probably mean more to her than you. And it likely won't be as pleasurable an experience for her as it is for you. (whaaat? Yes.) Just know that.
Deep breaths. Aaand moving forward...
25. Come to your parents (or at the very least, me) for help. Don't ever be afraid to talk to us. I hope that we don't ever make you feel that way. If you need to talk, cry, vent. If you need advice or a shoulder to cry on. We will always be here with open arms.
26. Be good brothers to each other. I hope you always stay close.
27. Find out what you love and make your career around it. Pursue your dreams.
28. Go to University, pay attention and kick ass. (That's not really an option.)
29. Don't burp, spit, fart or scratch your man parts in public. (that kind of goes along with number one but I just wanted to clarify).
30. Have an open mind. Try new things, new foods, meet new people, have new experiences. It's good for the soul to go outside your comfort zone once in a while.
31. Be a good Daddy (I sure am hoping to be a Grandmummy someday...though please take your time). This will likely come naturally to you as your father is a very good Dad, so please continue the cycle. Be present. Be loving. Be affectionate. Be empathetic. Be patient. Teach them, play with them, listen to what they have to say. Love them unconditionally.
32. Visit your Mother and Father as often as you can...or at least call. You will never realize how much we love you and how our love for you both has grown exponentially over the years until you are blessed with your own babies...you will wish the same one day.