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Life Lessons One Oh One

June 3, 2014

Catching up with my younger sister Jackie the other day, we got to talking about how we learn stuff. The mother of two kids, 10 and almost 7, Jackie knows there’s a fine line between telling kids what to do and teaching them what’s right. Such as:

  • It’s not good to talk with food in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Leaving wet towels on the floor makes your room smell.
  • Put socks on before your shoes.

While these basic lessons may seem obvious to most, there are some adults who never learned them. I’m sure you know a few. Then there are the other lessons, the adult ones, the ones we’re somehow supposed to instinctively learn along the way.

The first time I was pulled over, I was driving Edna, my first car, a blue Chevy Citation. Edna and I had been together only four months.

“License and registration,” said the police officer.

“Was I speeding?”

“Do you know that your inspection sticker expired three months ago?”

“My what?”

I got the car the summer I turned 19, a gift from my parents. Mom said, “Drive safely.” Dad said, “Peek over your left shoulder before changing lanes.” No one said anything about a sticker. And neither did the folks at Driver’s Ed, who seemed only concerned with the dangers of drinking and driving. girls

As the oldest of three girls I’ve made it my responsibility to pass lessons down to my younger sisters, learned from simply being around longer. These lessons run the gamut.

  • Never travel on a plane without a scarf.
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Avoid paying retail.

Some advice my sisters listen to, other times they think I’m just being the bossy oldest child. I don’t think they realize how lucky they are. I wish I had had an older sister to tell me stuff like “Oh that thing? That’ll go away.” How else do we learn if not from the experience of others who came before us?

But the best lesson, the one I’m constantly sharing? It’s that no matter how old we get, we never stop learning new ones.

Have any great life lessons to share? Please do!

 

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8 Comments
  1. Doreen Klein permalink

    So- why the scarf on an airplane?? Did I miss something all these years??

  2. I knew I missed out because I didn’t have sisters (or brothers for that matter). You are completely right with the scarf. Also, in cold weather, always take a moment to blow your nose before you go inside and then collect yourself. You don’t do these things in front of people. It’s uncouth. :)) That’s my contribution. :))

  3. Jamie Barr permalink

    Is this a plug for being the older sibling? Can we please hear from the middle child sister?!

  4. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    All your life lessons are great & the picture is beautiful!

  5. Debra Topilow permalink

    Here is a life lesson: If you don’t value someone’s opinion, don’t waste your time worrying about what they think. Love the photo of you with your sisters. They are lucky to have you. And I remember Edna. Do you remember my Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham Coupe?

    Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2014 21:20:06 +0000 To: debra@topilow.com

  6. Albert permalink

    Very true. Instead of seeing one pretty face this time I got a chance to see two other pretty face

  7. richard aberson permalink

    Three  good-looking , classy gals  —–but why never go on a plane without a scarf ! ?

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