Lisa says: What I hope for my girls when they're my age

From watching their bank accounts to being the best of friends, this International Women's Day, Lisa shares her hopes and dreams for the girls when they're 31

By Lisa van de Geyn
Lisa says: What I hope for my girls when they're my age

Addy and Peyton

I’m 31 years old today. (It’s not my birthday, just how old I am right this minute.) Addy will be my age in 2039 and Peyton will be 31 in 2041. Weird, right? (Want to know what’s even more weird? I’ll be 60 in 2039. Oy.)

All of us TP bloggers are posting about International Women’s Day today, so I decided to post about two of the most important (little) women in my life.

I know what you’re thinking — this blog is always about Addy and Peyton and I talk about them ad nauseam. True, but I promise this will be a little different than my normal “help-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-two-kids” spiel.

In honour of IWD, I decided to share (in kinda point-form) what I hope for Addy and Peyton when they’re 31 years old:

- Do whatever makes you happy. Today you were brushing my hair and Strawberry Shortcake’s hair, Addy. Want to be a hairstylist when you grow up? Go for it. Today you screamed all day long, Peyton. Want to do voiceovers for horror movies? You go, girl. Just make sure you educate yourselves and really love what you do. I hope you work to live, not live to work, but have a great time doing whatever it is you’re going to end up doing.

- Be smart with your money. (Says your mother who’s in overdraft.) I made a ton of money when I was in university selling the newspaper door-to-door. (I’m talking a LOT of money — enough to pay for my university tuition and plenty more.) I wish I’d saved all that instead of buying — wait — what did I spend that money on? See — don’t waste money on stuff you don’t even remember buying (or drinking). Your father was even worse than me. Sure, we’ve turned things around and we’re homeowners, RRSP-contributors, etc., but we still have a lot of work ahead of us and it would’ve been a heck of a lot easier had we been smarter with our cash. (Just look at Daddy. Poor guy is 68 and still can’t retire. Ah well. Lesson learned.) :) By the way, you can thank each of your grandparents for all of that money they put away for you in RESPs and bank accounts. Clearly your father and I couldn’t afford to.

- Your father’s going to tell you to marry rich (see the reasons why above) when he allows you to start dating, which, he says, will be right around the time you’re 31. Don’t listen to him. Pick someone who makes you just as happy as Bubby makes Zaidy and I make Daddy (and vice-versa) and stay the best of friends. And have babies…several babies. This is non-negotiable.

- Sisters can be a pain in each other’s rear-ends. (Take it from someone who?knows — Auntie Shayna and Auntie Kylee weren’t always buddy-buddy with me.) No matter how much you argue, fight, curse, tattletale, steal each other’s clothes and sometimes even hate each other over the next 30 years, I hope that you’re best pals by the time you’re my age. (Ahem — Auntie Shayna and Auntie Kylee, looks like the three of us have some work to do!) Confide in one another, count on each other, talk on the phone, see your nieces/nephews often, remind each other to phone your mother, include each other in your lives. (OMG. I’m totally tearing up. Thanks a lot friends at TP for this assignment!) Friends will come and go and there will come a time that you’ll *think* they’re more important than your sister, but you’ll be completely wrong. Your sister will be the one schlepping around the train of your wedding dress in open-toe heels in frigid temperatures and icy conditions on your wedding day. Remember that. Love each other and be thankful that you have each other — not every girl is lucky enough to have a sister.

- Don’t neglect your gums. Your grandmother (and her mother before her) has horrible gums and so many problems with her teeth she’s at the dentist, like, every other day. I broke a tooth a couple months ago on BBQ chicken. Argh. You don’t want any of that. Brush and floss. (Thanks, Mom.)

- Don’t obsess over your body. Gain 80 pounds with your first kid like I did with you, Addy? (Ha! Sucker. Kidding.) So what if you can’t get it all off before you go back (if you go back) to work after your mat leave. Don’t be hard on yourselves. It’s harder than you’ll think to have a career, husband and kids all at the same time. Give yourselves a break and do the best you can. You’re both so gorgeous now that I can’t imagine you not being unbelievably beautiful adults.

-  Remember the old folks, you know, your grandparents. You guys have a Bubby, Zaidy, GG, Opa and Nonna who love you more than they love me and Daddy. I’ve only had one Bubby all these years and it’s sad that I don’t know what it’s like to have another grandmother or any grandfathers. You were both the first grandchildren on either side of our family and that comes with responsibility. I used to phone my Bubby Ann every night to read her the TV Guide so she’d know what was on TV (even though she didn’t have cable…or know what I was talking about half the time). (P.S. You won’t have any clue what a TV Guide is by the time you read this.) Hang out with the old-timers — they’re interesting, fun to be around and they buy you things and give you money. :)

- Don’t worry, be happy. I’m a worrywart and, though I’m trying to change (complete with a shrink and prescriptions), I wish I didn’t spend so much time worrying about things that are a waste of time to worry about. Be careful but have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff. Do things that make you happy. Addy, if you’re still into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, throw in a vintage DVD and watch it when you need a laugh. Peyps, if you’re still falling over when you sit up and are trying desperately to eat your feet, well, that’s weird and we should probably talk about it.

All kidding aside, I hope my two pretty daughters become happy, healthy, loving, successful women who brim with confidence, have their father’s calm and collected “it is what it is” attitude and their mother’s phenomenal skin and sense of humour.

To all the moms, grandmothers, sisters, nieces and daughters, don’t forget to celebrate the ladies in your life today.

So, enough of me being sappy. It’s your turn. What do you wish for your girls when they’re your age?

This article was originally published on Mar 08, 2011

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