Giant Baby Steps

Momma’s giant baby: Graduate from The University of Texas McCombs School of Business Kolton W. Kaminski.   Photo by Kaelyn Huang.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Today is the eve of my baby boy’s – gulp – 23rd birthday. And last Saturday, he graduated from The University of Texas. Very soon he will move into his own home and start his full-time big boy job.

I understand this is the natural progression of things, that his daddy and I raised him to do exactly this. I just didn’t realize the “this” of this would feel like a mac truck ran over me. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond proud, even though pride is one of them seven deadlies. I do believe; however, the Lord will give me grace on this one for a minute or two.

Last week I mentioned that when my babies turned 21, I penned “Momma’s 21 Life Lessons” and presented them in the hopes that Kassidi and Kolton had both learned them well and would remember them as they grew into young adults. Lesson Number 19 must have hit home with a few folks last week as quite a few readers reached out inquiring about the other 20.

With the milestones of the past few days, the giant baby steps that my baby is tackling like a champ, I thought it most apropos to share “Momma’s 21 Life Lessons” along with a few of the words I wrote to Kolton two years ago:

“I honestly don’t know where this time has gone, but I know where it will go. It will go to you continuing to become you – the most amazing and accomplished young man I know. My love, my heart, my hope. As your life’s journey takes you so many wonderful places, there are a few heartfelt lessons I hope you will take with you – 21 to be exact – 21 of Momma’s Life Lessons that I hope I taught you well.

1) The cardinal rule of life: Buy low, sell high.

2) The Bible is right: You will reap what you sow. Sow goodness, sow positivity. Wear the white hat. As Western cinema has taught us, things never turn out well for the guys wearing the black hat.

3) If you don’t want my peaches, don’t shake my tree. Or, always be precious until pushed. And when the shaking and pushing starts, be the one to finish it.

4) Never mess with momma’s babies or momma’s money. Bless your heart if you are foolish enough to do so.

5) If you think you are working as hard as you can, work harder.

6) Q-U-I-T is the worst, nastiest, most foul four-letter word in the English language.

7) Attitude is everything. Always be half full. Half empty is a losing mindset.

8) Always be ready to pivot on a dime. Life is all about change, and many times, the best-laid plans turn out to be C, D and E.

9) If there’s not enough juice for the squeeze, don’t do it.

10) Be particular and tenacious. Act like a duck on a june bug, but select your june bug wisely.

11) Always keep your ducks in a row. No one appreciates herding kittens.

12) Be able to read a person like a cheap dime store novel – quick and dirty.

13) Give it all to God – the problems, the praise and the glory.

14) Appreciate the value of your true friends – your friends who have become family. They will carry you through the toughest of times – and they have.

15) It’s always family first, and God is the ultimate family. Always remember where your blessings come from and who brung ya.

16) Love purposefully and passionately. Your heart may get broken, but it’s worth it.

17) Revere the bond with your sister. It is – she is – a precious gift to you, and her loyalty and love are limitless when it comes to her “Bubby.”

18) Follow your heart, but use your brain.

19) Foul language truly shows your ignorance. If you can’t tell someone to go to hell in a succinct, cogent and effective manner without vulgarities, you need to work on your vocabulary.

20) Be proactive; not reactive. Don’t wait for the storm you know is coming; head it off at the pass.

21) You really do catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar.

22) And finally, one of Momma’s Words of Wisdom to grow on. Not every boy has a momma like you do. Yes, I realize that sentiment could go either way. I am not perfect. I am not the smartest person. I am not even the best momma. But, I gave 200% to you – for you – and always will. I will love you forever. I will respect you always. I will fight a grizzly bear for you and win. Every time.”

Once I can cajole myself out of a fetal position, I will see y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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