When my youngest daughter graduated from high school, I released my first book, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening.
I did not start a book. I started my daughter’s senior year in high school. I started worrying. I started keeping track of an all-too-relatable back story:
Like so many parents, as I prepared to let my first daughter go off to college, I worried. I could not help but wonder if my values and teachings had made it through the noise of the past 18 years. Did she hear the rules of thumb and the cautionary tales? Were they even relevant? Did she know what she needed to know to take care of herself in this digitized, super-sized world?
Did she know that high fructose corn syrup is bad for you and sitting still in the quiet is good for you?
Did she know to give the elderly and infirm her seat on the bus and not to give money to a crack head?
Did she know how to do her laundry? The bleach splotches on her towels gave me my doubts.
As every mother of a daughter knows, at some point, girls stop listening to us, usually right about the time the important stuff comes into play. It is frightening not knowing which important lessons they heard and which ones ended up on the cutting room floors of their busy, short- attention-span lives.
So after my daughter got settled in her dorm, I sent her a care package in the shape of an e-mail. Subject line: Do your laundry or you’ll die alone.
She read it all. She told me to make it a book. I did. Now Oprah is telling people to read it. Everything stARTs where it stARTs.
Now you can pass on my 270 tidbits of advice to your favorite mom or launching loved one – for graduation or summer break.