Set up a 529 plan. Virginia has a great plan if you don't want to do too much research

birth-age 3

“You don’t emerge from $@!#% empty-handed” a friend once told me. Even the worst periods of your life will bring gifts. Be thankful for those gifts, and enjoy them.


Love then when they least deserve it because that’s when the need it the most.

3, 13, 17

Career is so important to your life satisfaction. Do what makes you happy. If you’re really at a loss for what you want to do for work, then go where you’re needed.

18, 21

Check in on your friends. Even the ones that seem fine.


Toddler not interested in food? Hand them a random kitchen gadget to play with while you’re feeding them dinner, they’ll eat more if distracted.


Just focus on shining on your own terms. Your shine is not dependent on anyone or anything else.


Look into a class for meditation for kids. I read an article on a Baltimore elementary school that replaced detention with meditation and had amazing success.


Sometimes hookups don’t go well. The vibe is off for whatever reason. Stop. It’s okay to say “actually, let’s just call it a night.” Trust your gut. Be kind but never apologize for saying no-thanks.

15, 20

That trope “everything happens for a reason” is, I think, b.s. But I absolutely agree that you can find meaning in anything good or bad.


Read Admiral William McRaven’s autobiography Sea Stories.


Just because you love someone doesn’t mean they feel loved by you. Meet the kids where they are.

2, 9, 21

Write your own job description. When you've been around long enough to know what you're good at and can identify what needs in the company you can help with.


Save where you can. Spend when you have to. Splurge every once in a while.

15, 21

“It’s not as important how a message is received compared to how it is sent.” Sometimes you have to have uncomfortable conversations but the can always be kind and loving. Sometimes your message won’t land well, but if you expressed yourself truthfully and kindly, that’s not your burden to bear.


Take a CPR class together. Emphasize importance of staying certified ( or making a habit of watching an online course every year on the same day, like the day after Thanksgiving or something like that.


At the hospital? Always confirm your name and date of birth and why you’re there.


Listen to the radio stations they listen to. Know their favorite songs and artists.


If you don’t have anything intelligent to say on a subject it’s fine (encouraged) to say nothing. Listen. Learn.


Check out the Wolf Trap Children's summer theater.


Always remember - cheesecake is the best cake.


Don’t have a clue? (Relationships / career / character, etc.) The solutions can be found in books. READ! Novels, biographies, history, religion, humor, politics, finance, sports, and whatever sparks your interests at the moment!) You’ll learn about the world, and you’ll learn about yourself. READ!!!! (or listen!)

12, 15, 18, 20

Live a life of dignity and joy.

14, 21

Learn how to quiet your demons / that voice that tells you you’re not good enough. Great resource is Dan Harris’ 2022 TED talk.

14, 19, 21

Keep a pair of nail clippers in the car - much better lighting outside. Clipping tiny fingernails is terrifying!


Ask smart questions. More importantly, ask stupid questions! So many people are afraid of looking stupid that they totally fake understanding. Even in the very highest levels of career and society. Ask basic questions if something doesn’t make sense. Start at a kindergarten level understanding of a concept then build on it.

15, 20

In social situations it's better to talk too little than too much. Don't over-share with people you're not close to.



Learn how to release energy consciously, or you’ll end up releasing it unconsciously onto your loved ones in a negative way like yelling or arguing. Breathe, sing, shout, cry, sweat, play, bake, whatever floats your boat!


Pool safety- never touch equipment and always have a grownup present when swimming.


Discuss the concept that “It’s not always about you.” Some days need to be about supporting someone else in their joy - or sorrow. Your needs take a backseat.

11, 14, 17