Dear Daughters, Here’s My Life and Laundry Checklist for You

Dear Daughters,

Now you are both teenagers, looking at colleges, going to college, and discussing how you plan to decorate your first apartment. I hope I’ve done a good job preparing you for life alone, but I know I’ve missed a lot. This won’t make up for all those misses, but I still want to pass along a few things you need to know. Most of these, I’ve told you before, so look at this as your “what was it mom used to say about. . .” refresher course.

And if all else fails, text me. Feel free to text me even if all else isn’t failing. I like hearing from you.

A life and laundry checklist for my daughters
I want to pass on a few things you need to know. (Prostock-studio/ Shutterstock)

Advice to my daughters

1. When in doubt, wash clothes in cold water gently.

2. Treat people gently, too.

3. You also want cold water to get out blood and chocolate.

4. The following words are good when buying chocolate: cocoa butter, cacao. The following words are bad: partially hydrogenated. Bad chocolate is sad, whereas good chocolate will improve your life.

5. Dish soap is great for dealing with that grease spot on your favorite t-shirt.

6. Hand sanitizer is great for getting ink and Christmas tree sap off your hands. To say nothing of 99.9% of germs, even though I know that is not good enough for the germophobes among us. Youngest child, I’m looking at you.

7. Ironing is a pain. To de-wrinkle your clothes, just throw them in the dryer on medium with a damp washcloth for a few minutes, then take them out immediately and give them a good shake. You can use the time while you’re waiting to text your mother.

8. If someday you’re trying to decide between buying a house with a clothesline and buying one without (and all other things are equal), pick the one with the clothesline. Sleeping on sheets that have been dried in fresh air and sunshine will automatically improve the quality of your life by about 50 percent.

9. As often as possible, try to “disrupt the world with grace” (Shane Claiborne).

10. Don’t be afraid of being a little nervous before you perform or do something else you don’t do every day. Your nerves are just telling you that you’re getting ready to do something amazing and out-of-the ordinary — which is why you don’t get nervous before you brush your teeth. Remember,

Anxiety is just a glimpse of your own daring. (Maria Shriver)

Dare to be daring.

11. Just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s good to do right now — a season for everything.

12. Pick heavy over light when buying lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit. More weight means more juice, which you want.

13. When you are tired, make yourself breathe deeply, drink more water, and get natural light into your eyes.

14. The best gifts show the person you’re giving them to that you’ve paid attention to when that person has mentioned what they like and don’t like. Bonus points if those gifts don’t require maintenance, storage, dusting, or batteries.

15. Right is right though all condemn, and wrong is wrong though all approve.(Charles Spurgeon)

Or, put another way, right is right even if no one else is doing it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it.

16. Who you are is not something you have to wait for someone to give you. Who you are right now is already a gift.

17. True friends know a lot about you and like you anyway. Look for this kind of friend. Be this kind of friend.

18. If you’re thinking something nice about someone, tell them. Don’t let the thought stay stuck in your head. The world needs more encouragers.

19. Life is not about perfection. It’s about process and progress.

20. When you’re overwhelmed, do the (one) next right thing.

21 I like you. I love you. And being your mom is one of my life’s greatest joys and privileges.

You Might Want to Read:

17 Items to Cross Off Your To-Do List Before Your Teen Leaves for College You have done the shopping; here are the things that are much easier to do before they leave.

About Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She’s been married for 25 years to an exceedingly patient guy she picked up in church. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebookand Twitter

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