More Musings from my empty nest…

I was blown away by your response to my last post, “Letter to my Daughters”. Most of you who commented are in the thick of child rearing right now, whilst I am a grandmother. I think, though, that the connection with you my posts have made demonstrates that there are some things that never change when it comes to motherhood, even though I was in your position over 20 years (and more!) ago.

If you enjoy these letters, I warmly invite you to subscribe to my blog for access to a free pdf containing these letters and several more, such as one to my daughter on her wedding day, to my broken-hearted daughter (not the married one!), letter to my younger self and to the mother I never knew.

Here, from my archives, is my letter to my sons.

Jo Blackwell, Photographer, Writer and Blogger

Me and my boys at my 50th birthday party

Hey, boys – did you think you’d got away with it when I wrote my letter to your sisters? hehe – I’ve been saving this   Thing is, you were both the sweetest little boys and watching you grow into the men you are today has been a privilege, and one of the greatest pleasures of my life. You’ve both had your problems as well as your triumphs, but don’t worry, I’m not intending to talk about those. Time was that you used to hang on to my every word, now our time together is so precious, we spend it having fun, not setting the world to rights.

So, where to begin? Not too many words, I guess, or one of you will find his attention wandering and the other will start ending my sentences for me  This, then, is what I want you to know:

• BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. 100%. All the time.

• You don’t always have to have the answers. When a woman tells you she’s had a bad day, she doesn’t want you to tell her how she can put it right, she just wants you to listen, give her a cuddle and pour a large glass of wine. If you can manage a foot massage you will probably pull.

• However, if she’s had a bad day because the washing machine has broken down then she DOES want you to have all the answers. And the right tools to fix it with.

• Try to find time to exercise. The male of the species needs a daily run, much like a dog, or you’ll get fidgetty.

• Beer and fags will take their toll. So will whisky.

• Sometimes, a toll is worth paying. Just not all the time. Take the scenic route.

• And don’t take drugs.

• Pay your bills on time. Save rather than borrow. Spend less than you earn. It’s not rocket science.

• Learn to say no occasionally. She’ll respect you in the morning. (Just kidding!)

• Stay interested in your career – never stop looking for your niche.

• But don’t allow yourself to be defined by what you do. It’s a cliche, but no one has “he was a good worker” emblazoned on his tombstone.

• Don’t forget to shower. And yes, you DO need clean socks, underpants and shirt EVERY DAY!

• Be aware of your motives. Examine your conscience. Then stick to your guns.

• Ask yourselves occasionally: WWPD? (What would Poppa do?) You might dismiss the answer, but it’s a good yardstick!

• Love your mum. Be available to help your dad when he needs it, as he inevitably will as he gets older. But aside from that, live YOUR life. Don’t look backwards.

• Never forget that you are still boys. Kick balls, play computer games, laugh at farts.

• However, don’t allow yourselves to become infantilised by computer games, or continue to try to light your farts. You are men now, not boys

• Be there for each other, and for your sisters. Friends will come and go, your family will be beside you forever.

That’s about it. Nothing you don’t already know really, but sometimes it’s worth setting these things down. You are, without doubt, two of the best. You both have strong wills and big hearts. One of you, at least, has a reckless streak a mile wide with a smile that matches it, so that’s ok, then. Keep cheerful, look for the good around you – it is there, if hidden at times. When you are tossed about like matchsticks in the fast flowing river of life, don’t forget that there is a safe haven, both in your family home and in my heart. I’ll stop there before you drown in cliches.

Keep the faith, boys. Love Mum xx

What advice will you give to YOUR children as they grow into adults? I’d love to know, so please do share by commenting. The advice we give says a lot about us, doesn’t it? If you’ve read the above, you will now know me quite well. My children are my light, my joy, my legacy. They inspire me every day to be the best person I can be. They make me proud. And penniless. But mostly proud 😉

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