07/18/2012 04:43 pm ET | Updated Sep 17, 2012

An Open Letter to My Children, Take Two

When I first started blogging, I wrote "An Open Letter to My Sons."

If you are a mommy blogger (or a daddy blogger), there is a good chance you've written one of these letters. That's because there are a few posts that most parenting bloggers will write at some point: we will write about how unbelievably, freakishly, frighteningly, nauseatingly tired we are and we will write about it when we could -- instead -- be sleeping; we will write about how we never thought we'd write about poop (and then we'll write about poop) and we will write letters to our children.

A few nights ago, I re-read the letter to my sons that I wrote a couple of years ago. I didn't like it as much. I tried too hard to include macho-type stuff -- and I don't even know what macho-type stuff is. I wrote about ways I wanted my boys to behave when they were serving as groomsmen, attending football games and visiting strip clubs. My advice wasn't quite from the heart.

So, I want a do-over. And, since this is the Internet and there's room for everything on here -- like recipes for coconut bacon brownies -- I'm revising my letter. I'm taking up a little more Internet today:

  1. Cook. When people say they "don't know how to cook," it just means that they haven't really tried or they don't like to do it. If you can eat, you can cook.

  • Be kind. Be considerate. Be a good friend. (Unless you're friends with idiots.)
  • There's a popular book called "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff." I think it is very good advice. So, don't sweat the small stuff, unless the small stuff is bed bugs.
  • Speak up. And speak from the heart. You will almost always regret what you didn't say more than what you did say. The exception is when using social media. Think -- think! -- before you hit enter. Emails, posts, Instagrams and tweets are all digital bread crumbs waiting to be found by your future employers, landlords and mothers-in-law.
  • Get involved. Raise your hand. Volunteer. Vote.
  • While we're on the subject of voting, you should know that life is not a political campaign and it's okay to change your mind about anything, at any time. (Well, not at any time. Not if you're ordering a drink and there's a line behind you. In that case, order quickly and move out of the way.)
  • The people who are known for "always having the good gossip" are also the people no one trusts.
  • Be extra nice to the new kid, for you will be the new kid one day. You might be 40 when it happens, but trust me, it will happen. And, by God, you will hope that people are nice.
  • Be on time. One, if you're often late, people will start getting annoyed with you. And, two, you might miss something really good. Like really, really good. Like the kind of thing your friends will refer to for the rest of their lives. And you missed it because you were still in the shower.
  • Be a leader, not a follower. Unless you're leading people somewhere that's dangerous. Then, it's okay to let someone else lead.
  • The most important rule of all? Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Also important? No socks with sandals.
  • Oh, I almost forgot: Call your mother.
  • (This post originally ran on Mammalingo on July 18, 2012.)