Like all parents, I have many hopes and dreams for my girls. Since they were mere embryos in my uterus, I have imagined their futures overflowing with love and happiness. Of course, I want them to have rich, fulfilling lives, where goals are achieved and triumphs are celebrated. However, I also want them to make mistakes and learn from their missteps. Most importantly, I want them to live without the regret that they never took a chance. As Sophia Loren once said, "Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life."
I compiled a list of the top ten blunders that I hope my daughters accomplish before they are too old to know better. Granted, I am writing this list when my girls are still young and innocent, at ages where sneaking an extra gummy vitamin is considered a time-out worthy rebellion. I trust completely that this list will dramatically change in the coming years.
But for now, I hope they:
1. Get a tattoo
Just one. Somewhere discreet, where they can easily cover it and conceal it from disapproving grandparents and fathers.
2. Piss off the in-crowd
At least once, I hope that they stand against the popular group. I want them to know how it feels to be on the outside, the minority in the dreary middle school subculture. May this give them the empathy to treat all, even the crazy people on the street, with respect and tolerance.
3. Color outside the lines
Although they already do this very well, I hope that they keep the ability. Who needs a perfectly decorated picture of Cinderella? I much prefer the ones with crazy purple hair, black glass slippers and scary looking mice. I hope that they continue to practice their artistic rebellions.
4. Break curfew
I trust that there will be a time in high school when all of her friends are going to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and she is too afraid to ask permission so she just goes. The thrill of the experience will be well worth the two-week grounding period that will follow.
5. Date a bad boy (or girl)
I firmly believe that every teenager needs to do this once and only once. When the relationship ends (as it inevitably will), the experience may help them to weed the rest of the losers from the bunch.
6. Fully embrace the latest fad hairstyle (monster bangs, the shag, a mullet)
Everyone needs no less than one yearbook photo that makes them throw-up a bit in their mouths. However, experimentation is the passageway to finding your true self (or hairstyle).
7. Skip school
And have the wisdom to know when it is appropriate to do so. The day before a mid-term? No. The day after the mid-term? Yes.
8. Question authority figures
Not all the time, but once in a while, when it is well-deserved. And never me, of course.
9. Embarrass themselves
I vividly remember my bona fide version of the "arriving at school naked" anxiety dream. I accidentally tucked the back of my skirt into my underwear and strutted off to Social Studies. Yes, it was embarrassing, and I did spend the rest of the day hiding in the girls' bathroom, but I learned that I was stronger than I had known. Because I could live through the shame of flashing my bum to half the freshmen class, the rest of high school was tolerable.
10. Have sex before marriage
I pray that my children do not save their "special gift" for their wedding night. It has been my observation that chastity just leads to teenage weddings and massive disappointment on the big day.
Maybe in ten years this list will come back to bite me in the ass, but I'll always have the delete button and my highly-honed ability to deny everything.