Lessons learned…

February 4, 2009
I decided to sit here tonight and try to capture some words of advice for my guys- you know the type of stuff you learn as an adult that you wished that someone would have clued you into earlier in life. This is by no means an all inclusive list, just a reminder of a few lessons that I should teach them along the way. Forgive me for the ones that are a bit cliché, but they do provide some valuable insight. I’ll be adding more as I go, so if you have a favorite lesson that you would like to contribute please feel free.

Find that boy in your class who has no friends and become his first.

Ladies first, even though some will say it is sexist- be a gentlemen anyway.

Never buy a magazine subscription from someone selling them door to door.

Respect your elders- they know a lot more about life than you and they’ll willingly share if they think you’re worth it.

Remember your mom’s birthday- call her from wherever you are just to let her know that she’s special enough to commit to memory.

Treat women as equals- there’s no such thing as the weaker sex.

You’re never stuck- you always have choices.

Don’t settle for anything less than the love of your life.

Never judge a book by it’s cover- it’s what’s inside that makes the story.

Money cannot buy happiness- so choose a profession that allows you time with your family.

Start saving 50% of everything you make- by the time your old enough to have a real job it will be second nature.

Own a pet and recognize the significance of having another living creature completely dependent on you for everything- with luck, you’ll see this again.

When you have your own kids, match every “No” with a “Yes”.

Mayonnaise is not an instrument. (the boys will understand this one)

You will never be too old, too big or too cool to kiss your old man.

Take a nap as often as you can- the clock is ticking on this privilege and you’re going to regret not taking advantage of it sooner than you think.

Play a team sport but never use the letter “I” to describe accomplishments made on the field- use the word “we” instead.

Algebra sucks- do not seek help from your father when you take this course in high school. Go to your mother instead.

Tell your brother how much he means to you- have no regrets at the end off your life regarding this relationship.

Unplug your life and read a book.

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion in the face of opposition- be courageous.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss while you’re at it- dental care is friggin’ expensive.

Become a dentist; they make a lot of money.

By the way “friggin’” is a dirty word unless you’re a former Marine Drill Instructor- so don’t use it.

Make sure you vote- I fought for that right and can’t stand people who are too lazy to exercise the privilege.

They say life is tough, but even tougher when you’re stupid- work hard in school.

Never let another person speak poorly of your brother. There is no greater bond than the one you share with him- so honor it accordingly.

Speaking of your brother create a special handshake, build a tree fort or a share a secret- 20-years from now you’ll revisit these things over a beer at Christmas or during a random cell phone call.

If you never try because you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed.

When overwhelmed with work, do the hardest task first.

When you use the bathroom, flush the damn toilet.

Stand and place your hand over your heart when you hear the national anthem- don‘t be ashamed if you’re moved to tears, it was designed to stir emotion.

Never bad mouth a friend over email- the next inbox that it will find will be his.

It’s okay if you get choked up while watching a movie or a particularly touching commercial- if you’re embarrassed, tell people you have allergies.

Saying you’re sorry doesn’t hurt and it‘s completely free- additionally, the quicker you say it the more likely you are to repair the damage.

When you make a mistake “man-up” and claim it- it’s the quickest way to earn a person’s respect or lose a job, it really could go either way.

Try to remove the word “hate” from your vocabulary. While your at it, remove the word “cute” as well- I can’t stand that word.

Remember me for what I tried to be your entire life- a role model, a loving father and your biggest ally- forgive me for those times when I failed to achieve any of the three.

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Pammy posted the following on February 5, 2009 at 2:05 am.

This message reaches more than just your boys…it speaks volumes to grown women too.

Sherri Winstead posted the following on February 5, 2009 at 8:35 am.

Oh my gosh Shane, those were great and so many of the same I’d have to say to my two boys. Your stories remind me so much of the two of my boys. I love Connie and just getting to know you all here is just a treat. I laugh, and I even cry (that post about your son and how he loved you and…I can’t remember, but it was only a few posts back where you held his hand all the way home!)….and so thank you for your blog.

It’s a treasure your family, wife, friends and YOUR BOYS will so look back upon and be so grateful you did this. Your boys will get to know YOU even better – Connie too. There is just so much more many of us can say in print than actually out loud.


Marmalade posted the following on February 5, 2009 at 9:09 am.

Wise words Shane. Wise words.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Lisa Kelly posted the following on February 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm.

I am so glad Sherri shared the link to your blog on her blog. I loved these lessons learned, they really struck a chord with me. And more importantly, I love the way you talk about your boys, it’s so funny and sweet and I think they are two very lucky little guys.

admin posted the following on February 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm.

Wow, this post seems to have struck a chord- glad you all got something out of it- funny thing is if you’re an adult you know these to be true.

I think the challenging part is to remember the lessons that are important to us and then get our kids to take them on board.

So, make a list of the stuff you feel is valuable, review it on occassion and when your kids aren’t setting fire to the living room see if you can slide one past them. If your kids are as smart as mine they’ll likely absorb a few without even knowing it.

Lisa, thanks for the kind words and I hope you come back often. BTW your pictures are beautiful.


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