The cross off list

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I've written here before about my vast and undying love for lists: writing goals, crossing them off. I believe in the power of the written word to motivate and empower, and I think there's definitely something about seeing your goals in cursive that make them more likely to transpire. Life is a series of orchestrated coincidences and unknowns, but I think positive lists might help tilt life's balance in our favour.

My friend Krissa at Le Petit Hiboux is not yet a Mother (although when she and her husband do have a kid, s/he will be a doe-eyed marvel of nature), but she has a great "Cross off List" of 25 mandatory things she wants during her time on earth. Her list is so inspiring, I ran to get my pen to do my own. I'm doing a personal soul list, a parenting list, and a financial list.

On the parenting list:

1. Write a letter to my son each year on his birthday, encapsulating the most momentous occasions of that year. Include a photo that best represents each year's passion. Give him the letters on his 16th birthday.

2. Stand at the top of a cliff with my son, looking out at the water in another country.

3. Tell him all about one of his Dad's good traits, at least once a week.

4. Volunteer with my son: work in a soup kitchen, do bottle drives, help at an animal shelter.

5. Bake vanilla cupcakes with coconut icing and distribute them to the nearby senior's home.

6. Establish a summertime tradition: waterskiing together, lemon-aid stands on the sidewalk: anything as long as we do it together, every July, as long as he'll have me beside him.

7. As well as encouraging him in high school, sit down to teach him life's practical lessons: how to balance a checkbook, set up mutual funds, how interest rates and mortgages work.

8. Resolve to relish the ever-dwindling days of his early childhood: inhale and close my eyes more when feeling his hand in mine as we cross the street, in his strange word inflections and giddy zest for life.

9. Learn from Nolan's unabashed friendliness with others: watch him closely and learn to be friendly first.

10. Stop rushing. Sit when he wants to sit on the bench, slow down when he is ambling over pine cones, explain why snails are slimy, patiently, even for the tenth time. Revel in the every day, record the good moments more than the bad.

What's the top thing on your parenting list? Go on, write it.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.