Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Advice for my boys

Advice for my boys
22 July 2013

A while ago, I wrote a blog for my little daughter, Amber-Berry.  Filled to the brim, with handy advice.  Stuff I wanted her to know.  From the prosaic, to the practical.  Knowledge I wanted to impart on her, as I thought it might make her journey easier.  Lessons I wanted her to know.  Wisdoms that could make her travels on the road of life less bumpy.  Some of the stuff was for now while she's still small.  Some of the stuff's for when she's bigger.  Still everything I felt that was important for her to know was included.  Sort of a textbook or memo for life.

But am I not the mother of two awesome boys?  Don't my sons deserve the same?  And somehow, what's applicable for Amber, is not necessarily applicable for the boys.  And therefore I gave it a bit of thought and compiled their very own list for them.

  • Flowers – the fairer of the species love them.  They brighten up a home, and few things make a woman feel more special than a guy spending money on something as frivolous and fun as flowers.  Especially when they don’t actually get the point in them at all, and are still doing it.
  • Compliments - genuinely given.  Say them only if you mean them and your sincerity while shine through.  It is good to give praise where praise is due.
  • Attention to detail – boys are not always inclined to do this, unless it affects them directly, yet attention to details and the little things in life, has enormous yields on many different fields.
  • Sweating the small stuff – this is really important, as it is the little things that really count.
  • Don't under value the importance of romance.  It’s not sissy stuff.  Furthermore, don’t just indulge for the sake of your partner.  I suspect that you will find yourself enjoying it as well, if you let yourself and immerse yourself into it.
  • Nothing ever makes a bum look big.  NOTHING.  If you’re ever asked this question, I would like to advise you, that though I taught you to never lie, occasionally it is permitted.  This is one such example.
  • Don't compare whatever she's cooked with your mom's cooking.  Boys let’s be honest, firstly my cooking’s not all that great.  Secondly, how long has she been cooking compared to me?  I’ll be happy to share any of my recipes for your favourite meals and teach her how to cook it to perfection.
  • Every so often relinquish the remote - it will gain you many brownie points.  Think of the long term gains in doing this.  Major kudo’s.
  • Put the loo seat down - your father is really good at this, and he’s taught you well.  Don’t slip back.  Many women find this super annoying.
  • Understand that vegetables are food – meat forms only one part of a healthy, balanced diet.  Salads and fruit are great and you guys love them, but veggies are important too.  And no, potato chips, though made from vegetables, don’t count as a part of your daily veggie portion.  Attempt to eat a robot every day.  Something red, yellow and green – veggie-wise, that is.  Not Smarties.
  • Sport is not a religion or a cult.  It's just sport.  Occasionally your favourite team or player will lose.  This is not the end of the world or a great catastrophe - it's just sport.  I understand passion and value it, yet winning is not everything.  Being humble in defeat is even more important, than being elated when victorious.  You are both awesome sportsmen and I am sure will remain so forever more.
  • Ask for directions – this is acceptable and will in no way impact on your manhood.  This does not make you emasculated.  It makes you no longer lost.
  • Be a gentleman – this is not effeminate.  Only truly masculine men, can do this properly.
  • Wife-beater/strappy t-shirts are not cool.  Very few guys can pull it off.  Wear with caution.
  • Women have an inherent disability when it comes to verbally describing which way a tap opens and closes.  The same indiscretion also applies to screws, etc.  Please be patient when it comes to this.
  • In general, women are not super observant when it comes to all things automotive.  This is not intentional, as women are just wired different.  They don’t hear rattles, squeaks, the shot exhaust, the scraping noise under the hood, as well as the funny clicking, wheezing, whistling sound.  Please make allowances for this, and fully take charge of any cars that your family drive one day.
  • Understand this – bubble baths serve a purpose.  Actually scrap that.  You don’t have to understand this – just accept it.  Running a bubble bath for your lady is an awesome thing to do.
  • Be kind to elderly people and babies - chicks really dig this.  It shows compassion, and empathy and it goes a long way.  You are both caring people.  Don’t be afraid to show your softer side.
  • It's not fair, but there are double standards in this world.  Girls and boys are not judged by the same measuring stick.  Don't kiss and tell.  Girls' reputations are easily ruined.
  • Although we live in a modern era, where it is acceptable for a girl to ask a boy out, girls still like to be wooed.  To feel special.  Make the extra effort, it’s worthwhile.
  • When it comes to women - if something is wrong, don't always try to fix things.  Sometimes it is best to just listen, sympathise and give a good cuddle.
  • Speed kills.  Drinking and driving too.  Don't do it.  You can phone me any time of the day or night, and I'll simply fetch you.
  • Shortcuts are great, though sometimes the long way is so much better. 
  • If you undertake to do something, give it your all.  Finish it with pride, so that you will be able to step back when it’s done, with a feeling of accomplishment.
  • When it comes to nail polish, lipstick and lip gloss, there is a difference between Nude, Bare Nude, Barely Nude and Bare Nudely.  The wise man knows this and listens when his lady asks him which is the prettiest.
  • Please don’t bottle your emotions up.  Set them free and release them.  Bottled up feelings, turn poisonous if left to their own devices too long.  Rather acknowledge them and work through them.  You will find it so healing, just letting them out.
  • You don’t have to be brave all the time.  No one can be.  It is okay to admit that you are scared or unsure.  If you need help, just ask for it.  Too much emphasis is placed on pride.  If someone came to you for help, it would make you boys feel great and I know you would help.  Give someone else the same opportunity.
  • Love with passion.  With all of your heart.  If the person is right, don’t be scared to commit.  It will open your world right up if you do and give meaning to it all.  What is the point in life otherwise?
  • We all want nice stuff.  It’s human nature.  Though be mindful of not making gods out of your possessions.  It’s just stuff and can be replaced.  People, however can’t.  Be sure to be mindful of that.
  • Surround yourself with good people.  You can enrich your life so much by doing just that.  There are toxic people out there, who can suck you dry.  They can tap you of your joy, and take you down with them.  Try to avoid them.
  • Goodness begets goodness.  As simple as that.
  • Choose your friends wisely.  They will outlive us, your parents, and will be your family in your later years.  Choose friends with similar values.  These values are universal across racial, ethnic, cultural and fiscal borders.  Have friends that are likeminded.  That also love and like you for you. 
  • If you are able to help those less fortunate than yourself, do so.  You will gain more emotionally and spiritually from your generosity, than you are giving away. 
  • Read – it feeds your soul and makes your world bigger.
  • Speedo’s are never a good choice of swimming apparel.  They’re nasty and real passion-killers.
  • When you get to that age, do trim your nose and ear hairs.  It happens to most men and it’s not cool to grow the fur all over your face.  Beards are fine, but a bush or tree sprouting from your nose or ears, are not fine.
  • Try not to become cynical and jaded – see everything with unprejudiced eyes and look for the goodness around you.
  • If you go shopping and you don’t find parking immediately, just exercise patience.  A spot will indeed become available soon.  Having to wait a few minutes, will not damage you.
  • Irrespective of your achievements in life, remain humble and thankful for all that you have.
  • Moderation in all things is good.  Excess breeds contempt and familiarity.  Too much of a good thing is never advisable.  However, this does not go for love.  In love, go big or go home.  Do it with all of your heart.
  • Be adventurous.  This is a good thing.  However, exercise caution at the same time.
  • Learn not to buckle under peer pressure.  Saying no and declining on occasion, is a greater measure of the strength of your character, than simply going with the flow.  Don’t succumb to pressure to fit in.
  • It is good to cause ripples and waves every so often.  People will show greater respect for you, than if you’re simply one of the herd.
  • Be respectful to all who come on your path.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Look deeper and find the beauty within.
  • Always remember your manners – they go a long way.
  • Look people straight in the eye, and remember to give men a firm handshake.  Limpness is never good.
  • Cherish your kids while they’re small.  Take it from me – they grow up far too fast.
  • Always make time for old friends.
  • Make meaningful bonds and connections with people.
  • When you move out of home, remember to wash your bedding regularly.  The same goes for your towels.
  • Don’t be that guy – the one that doesn’t call.  Rather just make the call and say it’s not working for you.
  • Don’t speak badly of people – the wheel turns and it will come back to you.
  • Be honourable in all your dealings with people.  Your good name is precious – keep it so.
  • Respect women.  Always.  End of story.
  • Wear clean underwear every day.
  • Don’t pull your nose up at hard physical labour. 
  • Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up.
  • Always try and save some money for a rainy day.  When you become adults, you’ll learn to appreciate the fact that rainy days can often turn out to be monsoons, and last for long periods of time.  Be prepared.
  • Few things are more attractive in a man than the ability to cook.  I shall have to pull my socks up and teach you more, as two-minute-noodles and toast is hardly likely to impress many.
  • A great sense of humour is one of the most amazing qualities to have.  Especially if you learn to laugh at yourself and not take life too seriously.
There is actually so much more I would like to gift you boys.  So many more wisdoms to pass on.  But perhaps the above is a start.  And you'll figure the rest out along the way.

My wish for you is a good, full and happy life.  May it treat you kindly and love you as much as I do.

With all my love,


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  1. Such wisdom and you are so young. Amazing! Lucky boys to have you as a Mom! I have one last little pearl of wisdom to add. NEVER ask a woman if she's pregnant unless you can see the baby coming out!

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  5. As elke bullet 'n induvidual comment was, sou ek hulle geiike het <3

  6. Remember to wear clean underwear!!!

  7. Incredible advice! Ek het dit sooo baie geniet. They are the luckiest boys out! They will cherish this and be very very grateful for this personal advice from their most amazing sparkly mommy! Always inspiring to me xxxxxx