1. When your dad walks into the room and asks you to trade seats with him AND HE’S STANDING UP, don’t do it.  I was well into my twenties before I realized what a raw deal I was getting.
  2. Once you have kids, having a dog is often better than having a Dyson.
  3. Have a relationship with your parents where you can Say Anything to them.  Yeah, I was just like Diane Court in that movie (except for the whole “trapped in the body of a game show hostess” thing).
  4. Floss.
  5. Be the person you want your kids to be.  This is harder than it sounds.
  6. You will end up being more like your parents than you wanted to be.  I’m sorry.
  7. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, only now it’s you.
  8. You’ll see your best and worst qualities mirrored by your kids.  Embrace them both.
  9. During a road trip, saying, “Look, kids!  Big Ben!  Parliament!” will get a laugh no matter how many times you say it.
  10. Timeouts are for parents, not kids.
  11. Even if my boys don’t appreciate my extensively documenting their childhoods with photos, their future wives will thank me.
  12. Gender stereotypes are everywhere and it’s really hard to fight them.  My three-year-old already insists that boys wear blue and girls wear pink and never the two shall meet.  Where did this come from?!
  13. People who live on “No outlet” streets really do have electricity.
  14. Parents always complain that they don’t get to go out to dinner anymore once they have kids.  Although that’s definitely true, I wouldn’t trade our family dinners for anything — spills, tantrums, and all.
  15. In this online age, it is easy to spread hate.  Take ownership of your views.  Privacy and anonymity are not synonymous.  Anonymity is cowardly.
  16. It’s okay to expose your kids to things you loved when you were a kid, even if those things include Pee Wee Herman.
  17. Having gray hair and being the mother of a toddler are not mutually exclusive.
  18. When I was a kid, waiting until age 26 to get married and have kids seemed like a good plan.  Turns out I missed the mark by a decade.
  19. I was a smartass, mouthy kid.  My three-year-old already cocks his head and takes a tone with me, so I know I’m in for it.  My parents are giddy.
  20. News flash: George Michael was always gay.
  21. The family that matters is the one you create.
  22. You never forget your first love.  On a related note, Google is great for stalking.
  23. No matter how old I get, my life will always be scored to a soundtrack in my head.
  24. Those books and movies you loved when you were 17?  Check ’em out again at 40.  Guess what?  The Fountainhead is not a love story.  Neither is 9 1/2  Weeks.
  25. Before Facebook, we played “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”  Damn you, Zuckerberg, for making money off our drinking game.
  26. I was wrong when I was 10 — bell bottoms did come back.
  27. Marriage is harder than motherhood.
  28. Your heroes change over time.  When I was in college, the first president I actively and passionately campaigned for later signed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.  Nowadays, my heroes are an atheist comedian, an agoraphobic bloggess and a free-range mom.  Go figure.
  29. Yelling and slamming doors is not the way to behave at work.  This lesson was learned well into my professional career but, believe it or not, has no correlation to the fact that I now work from home.
  30. Now that I think about it, yelling and slamming doors is probably not how you should behave anywhere.  Sometimes it just feels good, though.
  31. Don’t ever apologize for being smart.
  32. Kids can sleep through anything, even scary thunderstorms.  Dogs?  Not so much.
  33. The world is no less safe than when we were kids, it’s just that the 24-hour news cycle wants us to believe it is.  The likelihood that my kids will be abducted is much lower than the certainty that they will be antisocial and unhealthy if they stay inside and play video games all day long.
  34. “Nap when the baby naps” isn’t just for when they are babies.
  35. Sex isn’t like in 50 Shades of Grey.  That’s a good thing.
  36. Adjusting to daylight savings time never gets any easier.
  37. Everything I ever needed to know I learned from a John Hughes movie.  Team Duckie all the way.
  38. People say you get more Republican as you get older.  Not true.
  39. Don’t chase a bear with a kiddie golf club.  This is a bad idea.
  40. I am happy.  My angst-ridden, goth chick, feminazi former self could not have predicted this.

 

 

The author at age 18 and age 40

18 and 40

 

 

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