When I went on a first date, mom strategically warned: “When you are kissing him, think of what your children will look like.” Needless to say, he didn’t get a kiss–ever. Mom didn’t always offer advice designed to halt me in my tracks, but her techniques were quite effective.
When I went off to college ten hours away, my dad imparted the wisdom of Frederick Schiller: “He who dares nothing need hope for nothing.” He knew I needed to be reminded to be courageous and take risks.
I grew up on a small ranch with seven horses, dozens of cats and chickens, and a couple of dogs. My parents exposed me to the magic of the world as I witnessed a new foal land in the world and hosted a box of baby chicks in my winter bedroom; I learned how to take care of myself as I cared for and developed loving relationships with other creatures. These childhood experiences filled me with information and wonder for the world.
How fortunate I was to thrive in an environment that emphasized respect for others, knowledge, and thought. How precious it is to be guided to thrive with such balanced guidance!
From For a Girl I Know about to Be a Woman
Because you’ll find how hard it can be
to tell which part of your body sings,
you never should dally with any young man
who does any one of the following things:
tries to beat all the yellow lights;
says, “Big deal!” or “So what?”
more than seven times a day;
ignores yellow lines in a parking lot;
carries a radar detector;
asks what you did with another date;
has more than seven bumper stickers;
drinks beer early and whiskey late;
talks on a cellular phone at lunch;
tunes to radio talk shows;
doesn’t fasten his seat belt;
knows more than God knows;
See the rest at: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47108
from Some Jazz A While: Collected Poems
- The specific pieces of advice in the are helpful to the intended audience, and they are equally helpful in shedding light on the speaker. Craft advice to add depth to two characters.