I hope that one day my children can inherit my mistakes, that they not be required to make the same ones I had made in life, and can make their own mistakes and learn along the way in a less harsh manner than what I experienced. I hope that being an open book for them gives them the brevity they need to live better than I could. I don’t know that it will work out that way, but I can hope at least.

I will tell them that looks aren’t everything. If you’re with someone who you’re attracted to but can’t connect with, you’re gonna get divorced, just like I did. I’ll tell them that paying attention to red flags is important. Don’t ignore them. Listen to what family has to say after first meeting “the new boo”.

I also get to tell them that if they look for love, they’ll find it. There are people out there who are wonderful and are literally waiting to tangle lives together in meaningful ways. Find someone who sees them for who they are. Not some idealized version but someone who sees all their faults, acknowledges those faults, and still feels butterflies with every kiss.

It’s too easy to be critical of yourself, to imagine yourself as not good enough to deserve better than painful compromise. I will encourage my kids to not take the easy road, but to let it bear out that they have better returns on their investments. Sex is cheap, and words even more so, but finding a wonderful person to share life with is priceless.

I am so thoroughly in love, and this is the forever that I truly want.