Dear children of the Jackson Clan,

I love my both of my parents, but I wish they had shared some of the less important life lessons that I basically had to learn on my own.

Full disclosure, some of these they may have actually shared with me, but either I wasn't paying attention (which is possible) or I just flat out forgot. That being said, here are some tips that should always remain in the back of your minds. Some might be catered more for the boys than girls (and vice versa), but some will apply to both, so here we go.

First, to my boys:

  1. Learn how to tie a tie now. I was almost grown before I learned. At some point in your life, whether it's a job interview or a funeral, you are going to need to learn this. Worry not... I will teach you.
  2. Hair growth sucks. Yes, we all want to be able to shave our faces and have hair on other body parts... until you actually get it. Trust me, it's a pain. Enjoy life without it for awhile.
  3. School is better than working for a living. Enjoy the lack of responsibilities (I think my mother actually told me this one, but it's good advise anyway, so carry on).
  4. Enjoy being able to eat what you want without gaining weight. I told this to myself in an Open Letter To 19-Year Old Me, but this is good info for ya'll too. [Girls, this is for you as well.]
  5. Be careful with your body parts. Jumping off buildings and stuff is fun, but your knees will thank you later on in life.
  6. Learn to cook. You'll thank me later for this one. If you make it, chances are, you'll eat it.

To my girls:

  1. Daddy is overprotective. Deal with it. I'll probably NEVER truly like ANY of your boyfriends, but as long as they treat you right, I'll allow them to live.
  2. Never be afraid to tell me anything... literally ANYTHING! Even if I get upset at first, I will always love you. [Boys, same for you... although I may beat ya'll first.]
  3. All males think about sex way too much. Just a heads up.
  4. It is okay to like and watch sports. If you like NBA Basketball, you don't have to pick my Denver Nuggets as your favorite team, but if you pick the L.A. Lakers, I may disown you. #SorryNotSorry
  5. It's okay to say what you want to eat. Get in the habit of it now. Trust me... men really can't read your minds.
  6. Learn to cook, but for a different reason than I told the boys. It's just an essential life skill. Don't worry... daddy will teach you.

This last one is for you all: Daddy has eyes everywhere. You will eventually get caught. Also, I've been your age and almost everything you've thought about doing or plan on doing, I've probably already done (and you grandmother probably already beat me for it). Also, this town is small. If I got caught in Flint, Michigan, you'll definitely get caught in little ole Casper. Ask your adult siblings. They'll tell you firsthand this is true.

Again children, I love you. Just take these things in to account.

Love Always,

Your Father

P.S. - Tears only work on me until age 6. After that, like most cops... I'm immune.