When it comes to clothes and makeup, women have one dress code: whatever the f*ck they want. Hijab or bikini, it’s not women’s job to appeal to men. It’s not women’s job to keep men’s appetites subdued.

14, 17, 21

Learn to tie knots.


Put him in charge of figuring the tip out when we’re out at a restaurant. Calculate 15% or 20% etc. Also emphasize that the difference between a good tip and a great tip is usually just a few dollars but it makes a difference to the recipient. Be generous with people who are in service professions.


“When happy, be kind. When sad, be kind. When ever…be kind.” - Cory Booker

9, 12, 15, 19, 21

Best song for a good cry: “And so It Goes” by Billy Joel.

15, 21

“Praise in public. Discipline in private.” This is good advice for when you’re a parent and for when you’re a boss.


Go as a family to local high school musical productions.


Ask your emotions “why” three times.

14, 16, 21

Trust me when I tell you that one day you’ll look back and realize you judged people unfairly and you held strong to convictions only to end up changing your mind about in the light of life experience. Leave a little space open for second impressions or the possibility that you could be wrong.


When COVID started my first thought was “Holy sh*t Trump is going to cancel the 2020 election because of pandemic.” Thank God I was wrong.


Be kind. Be brave.


“Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage.” -Danielle Le Port

15, 18

Send thank you acknowledgemnt for gifts received


Teach tuck to drive


Give him a copy of The Secret Lives of Great Composers by Elizabeth Lunday.


When things get scary, look for the helpers. This is true in physical crises and existential ones. SCOTUS just passed down a few truly horrifying rulings, including reversing Roe v Wade. I’m disheartened in all that’s going on, but was reminded to look for the helpers, the activists, etc. Look for them…and join them.

10, 15, 21

Read (or listen to) A Fragile Stone together.


Enroll in cooking lessons. We'll need to find you someone who knows how to cook. (Don't tell mom I said that.)


Anger is the bodyguard of sadness.

12-15, 21

No bragging. Don’t toot your own horn.

11, 15, 21

Great career advice from tv producer Tara Schuster: Be the best at the worst job. You’re a lowly intern, you’re not gonna get asked to sit down with the boss and strategize. But say the boss likes coffee, and the office coffee machine is unreliable. Fix the machine. Keep it in tip-top condition. Make a contribution to the company in small ways, consistent with your level of ability (which at this age is low low low. NO ONE likes a 20-something who thinks he/ she knows it all. Or knows anything really.) Listen, learn, anticipate needs and surpass expectations doing the little things. Be polite, kind, ethical. Be on time (early.) Yes, compete but also help others look good and succeed. NEVER never trash-talk a colleague, client, boss or subordinate. Don’t suck-up either. Mostly just listen, work, make yourself useful wherever you can. And have fun. You’re gonna do great, bunny.

18, 20

Every “yes” to something is a “no” to something else. Take your time processing the choices - write in your journal, sweat it out, listen to music, talk to someone you trust, read books from experts. Once you’re clear about what you’re giving up, let it go and don’t look back. (Remember there’s no advice that’s right more than 99% of the time. Always trust your gut. Just remember an impulse isn’t the same thing as a gut check.)

15, 16, 19, 21

Listen to Celebrate Calm podcasts for help dealing with defiance.

4, 9, 15

Imagine hearing the apology you need to hear. Often times that really helps, even if the person never actually says it. It makes it easier to forgive and move on.


Defending yourself from a bear: NEVER run from or turn your back on a bear. Remember the rhyme: “If it’s black, fight back. If it’s brown hit the ground, if it’s white like Similac, frozen bear gonna send u back.” - Mamadou Ndiaye


Let’s talk about hungry kids. What can we do to help? Donate? Volunteer? Start a Little Free Pantry?


"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." - Ben Franklin This works with money and with other areas: Be faithful in the little things and the bigger things will take care of themselves. For example, if you don't get comfortable with telling little lies then you'll never tell big lies.

9, 13, 19

Something to remember on those days when the kids are making you nuts and you’re at the end of your parenting rope: “They love you no matter what. They always want to be close to you. Even when you’re screwing up, they still think you’re amazing. They want to be just like you when they grow up. You are their hero. You may be their mom, but they’re constantly reminding you of your worth.”


When he comes to you and tells you he’s in trouble, stay calm. Ask “How can I help you?” Figure it out together. No matter how old he is, he needs to know you’re on his side. There will be time for lessons and consequences, etc. But first, help.

7, 12, 15, 21

Self-care is active not passive. (Zoning-out on the couch or sleeping all day isn’t self-care.)

13, 15