Please, excuse me, bless you, and thank you.
Color in the lines.
Color outside the lines.
(But settle for small.)
Don’t talk politics or religion.
Speak your mind.
Say it again one more time.
Don’t you dare.
Be a friend.
Friends are great but enemies have more power.
Friends are worth more than sexual interests.
Sexual interests are worth more than friends.
Sexy (thin, strong, rich, et al.) equals happy.
Don’t be a jerk.
Don’t be a bitch.
Think for yourself.
Don’t stand out as someone who thinks independently.
Life lessons culminate in kindergarten.
We never stop learning.
Don’t be afraid to show weakness.
You’re not your parents.
You remind me so much of your dad. (And with his irreverent streak, too.)
You are lucky enough to hear your dad say, “Just be yourself, honey,” and it is the only advice you’ve ever heeded without doubt.
© 2015, Julia Moris-Hartley