Yours, Mine and Theirs: Advice to My Son, as He Becomes a Man

Dear Pockets,

Today, you officially become a man. Before you rush down to register for the Selective Service, get your voter identification card, or stop at the local quickie mart to buy some sort of 18-and-over-only product, there’s some advice I’d like to impart to you.

You may be inclined to tune out, having spent the last 18 years listening to me telling you what to do and how to live, but I am still your mother, and always will be, so indulge me for a few moments. After all, I did carry you in my womb for nearly eleven months (you’re as punctual as your mother) and endured 39 hours of excruciating labor, during which I was allowed to eat only ice chips. Ice chips! You know how Mommy loves her food. It was no picnic, Child… Do your mama a favor, stop rolling your eyes, and read on…

Ready? Here we go:

  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This applies to smoking, drinking, strip clubs, pornography and—most importantly—skinny jeans, which are a travesty on any man.
  • When it comes to dating, slow and steady wins the race. Except it’s not really a race. I mean to say, take it easy. Romance needn’t be hasty. If it’s right, it will prove itself over time.
  • No matter how wonderful she is, you are still “my little boy,” and I’ll have a hard time believing she’s good enough for you. If she truly is, she won’t let your mom scare her away. Think of me as your early warning system.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry.” Even when you’re right.
  • Stand up for the things that matter, and don’t lose sleep over the things that don’t.
  • Think of cologne as a lapel pin—not a union suit. A little goes a long way.
  • Be BOLD! Regret lasts much longer than humiliation. Go for it!
  • When you find that “special someone,” you’ll know it. You’ll feel more confident, like what you see in the mirror, and nothing will make you feel happier than spending time with her (or him). By “special someone,” of course, I mean the hair stylist who cuts your hair perfectly, every time. Life is too short to spend it growing out bad haircuts.

Finally, and most importantly (I was really hoping your dad would get around to telling you this, but, alas…):

  • Never underestimate the importance of “manscaping.”

I love you, Son, and I’m proud of you. Have a very happy birthday!

Forever (and I mean forever and ever and ever and ever, whether you like it or not),