Most nights, if I don’t read a story to my daughter, she asks me to tell her a story. I don’t think I am a bad story-teller, but I find I don’t have many interesting ones to tell. I usually tell her the story of how her dad and I met. And if she doesn’t want to hear that one, then I pull out my cautionary tale of the time I didn’t drink enough water and passed out on the golf course. I want her to make sure she is always hydrated!
The realization that I don’t have many good stories led me to ask myself, “Have I really enjoyed my life? Like, really enjoyed it? With crazy, wild fun?” The answer, unfortunately, is no.
I have, since I can remember, always been responsible, and a bit cautious. I have never done something I was deathly afraid of. A little afraid, like riding the Magnum at Cedar Point and walking through freaky scary haunted houses. But, I’ve never, never, never engaged in risky behavior.
In my teens and young adulthood I never partied much. And if I did, it was once in awhile because I worked full-time after high school and went to school in the evenings. Responsibility consumed me. Sure, I was young and could’ve had more fun, but I was so focused on finishing school and paying my rent… it didn’t leave much for irresponsibility. Something I see now is important to experience.
Now that I am close to 40, I look at things differently. I wish I had better stories for my daughter; like maybe, “That one time when I skydived; or that one time when I traveled through Europe”; I have nothing regrettable or exciting that would make my daughter’s eyes pop in the telling of it.
Of course, I want my children to respect their bodies, to always be safe, and use their best judgment. But, I also want them to fuck up a little. I want them to live, live the hell out of their life. Isn’t that what makes life interesting? We should all experience the roller coaster just once. Why the fuck ride the carousel when you can really experience something thrilling, something that makes you piss your pants a little.
Life is a ride, and I say ride the fuck out of it. Because I am realizing (a little too late) that playing it safe ALL THE TIME is not living much at all.
So to my dear daughters, here is a list of five things I want you to be able to say when you are 40:
- I partied (a lot) in college. Learn from me on this one. You only get one youth, so enjoy it wisely.
- I traveled. This is a big one. Because once you become a parent, you are likely to travel less – if at all.
- I told a bitch off. Do it! Because I am too nice, and too many people have told me that. Girls can be downright mean. So, don’t let any bitch break your spirit.
- I pursued him. Tell the guy you’re crushing on how you feel. If you wait too long, you could miss out. And I never want you to have regret.
- I broke the rules. Last but most definitely not least, break the fucking rules every now and then! I’m not talking about when it comes to parents’ rules, I’m talking about society’s rules. Speak your mind, protest, put up the good fight for something you believe in.
Live your life in color!
Life goes quick, too quick. When you are young you feel invincible. And those are the years to really figure out who you are, what you want out of life, and with whom you might share your life with. Those are also the years to really have fun. So, please, go at it with full speed. You have my blessing.
About the author: Sherene Buffa is a mom two girls + wife. She gets through her days with a little help from her friends: coffee, chocolate, and wine. She blogs at Mama’s Doody where she talks about the hurdles of motherhood.You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram and occasionally on Twitter.