Getting to know your neighbors is a pleasure; if you’re really lucky like your father and I, you may find some lifelong friends living right next door. Even if not, it still helps to have a cordial relationship; it allows you to beg their pardon if your dinner party is too loud or to ask for a spare egg if you need one.
As a child you may feel as though you’re required to submit to an arbitrary set of rules: constantly told where to sit and what to say and which fork to use. I want you to understand the bigger reason for all of this, even beyond conforming to social norms. As an adult you won’t be afforded the same latitude you enjoy today to freely express your emotions. When the tide of your own passion is so high you’re at a loss for how to behave, your manners will guide you. They are the tool you will use to maintain your dignity.
I love living with you and your father; I also cherish the years I spent living alone. You shouldn’t go from being someone’s daughter to someone’s wife to someone’s mother without first being someone yourself. Living alone will allow you to discover who you are when no one is watching, what you need to get through a day, and ultimately that you are a capable, independent woman.
And tell them often. It’s a wonderful feeling to be reminded that you are loved.
This is a big idea, little girl, but I know you can handle it. I want you to realize that as you grow you take on responsibility. In the beginning, you are explicitly accountable for items like your toys and your schoolwork. As you age, your responsibility becomes more implicit, expanding to include intangibles like friendships and family bonds. Whether or not you want this responsibility, it exists; you have influence over everything that you touch. Because I believe so strongly that you are worthy of this responsibility, I want you to embrace it. You have the capacity to make moral decisions and are therefore accountable to your choices. Those choices and the example they set mean something to this world, without ambiguity. You are of great significance not only to me, but also to yourself and to the world at large, so act accordingly.
Succulents are wonderful plants if you don’t have a green thumb (like your Momma). They do well with little attention, just wait until the soil is all dried out and then use a spray bottle to give them a nice shower instead of watering them.
Shopping can be a fun activity; most women cannot deny a little high when finding the perfect pair of three-inch aubergine leather heels to match that vintage paisley dress or a hand stained mahogany hardwood end table that fits perfectly in the nook by the fireplace. But know that at the end of the day, shopping is simply a means of acquiring things. Life is not about amassing loads of slick stuff. When shopping becomes your hobby, it’s time to find something else to fill the hole inside you where you normally put things.
Wrap a rubber band around the base of your machine at the distance from the needle you want your hem to be. If you watch the needle while you sew your stitches will look like you were sewing through an earthquake, so focus on the rubber band.