I knew this day would come but I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to actually let you go. I do want to thank you for sticking with us as long as you could because being the two oldest of eight cannot be an easy thing. Knowing I am losing 25% of my kids at one time is hard on my heart so tread lightly.
There are so many things I hope I have taught you and maybe I'm a little scared that I didn't. Just in case I didn't cover something, here are a few reminders before you go:
1 - Pay with cash as often as possible. You need a house to live in, a vehicle to drive and an education. You don't need new couches, expensive clothing or dinner out a 12% interest rate. Pay your tithing. Everything we have came from the Lord, all he asks is 10%. Be wise and always pay your debts on time.
2 - Serve others. You are entering a period of your life where you only have to be responsible for one person - YOU. You may have to deal with roommates or co-workers but it will be nothing like the service you gave to your family. Reach out and find small ways to serve every single day. It will help you see that there are others out there who need you.
3 - Finish your education. Remember that time when I had eight kids at home and I was going to college? It was really super hard. I regret not doing it when I was younger. No matter what you want to do with your life, get an education. I promise you won't regret it. And by education, I mean graduate from a trade school if that's where your career takes you but a Batchelor's degree will never hurt you.
4 - Choose The Right. That one seems pretty clear. Even though you are an adult now, it doesn't mean that you are perfect at making the right choices. Make your own rules in regards to curfews, sleepovers and what you put into your body and then follow those rules. Take precuations to avoid compulsive decision making. For example, eating out is an easy fix when you are hungry but it will suck your food budget quicker than you could suck my budget eating at home. Adults eat Mac and Cheese and Ramen and peanut butter sandwiches sometimes too, especially when they have tight budgets. You can always come eat with us if you want to.
5 - Take pride in your new home. Scrub the toilet, mop the floor, vacuum the floors and wash your dishes. A clean home is a happy home. A spray bottle full of water and a small amount of bleach will kill a ton of germs but only if you use it. What if you brought a potential spouse over while dating and they were completely turned off by your filth? Don't be "that" person. If you need to bring your laundry home that's fine, but a laundromat might be more efficient depending on how far away you live from me. Remember to wash your clothes with the hottest water possible for the fabric.
6 - Remember that while you are so happy to be on your own, there is a hole the size of the Grand Canyon in my heart knowing you will most likely never be back for an extended period of time. I am going to miss you. A phone call, a visit, a lunch date will be needed as (your dad and) I try to respect your space and desire to be independent. Your younger siblings want to be a part of your life too. Take the babies to the park if you have some free time, invite the others to go hiking with you or go shopping. Remember that your siblings will always be there for you long after your friends have moved on with their lives. Come home for holidays if you are able. Thanktivus is our special December holiday that shouldn't interfere with other holidays and future family commitments. At least shoot for that one every year.
I hope that about covers it. Remember that even though you are living on your own, you will always be a part of our family. I love you and I hope I have taught you what you need to be an independent thinker and a righteous follower of Christ.