Charlie Hodge

Hodge: Advice for Stanley on his third birthday

Kelowna columnist has a few suggestions as you venture down your path in life

Happy third birthday to my great-grandson Stanley.

With the intense heat and smoke in the air I will likely not be at your afternoon party in the park, however we will get together for snuggles and chuckles soon. I did, however, want to send you this little note today. It contains a few suggestions you might want to consider as you venture down your path in life. It will mean nothing to you now, but hopefully mom will tuck these thoughts away someplace safe for reading later.

Timing is everything

Timing is huge in life and I am glad you arrived on this planet before I left ‘cause I was waiting for a Stanley. I have a few family heirloom guy things I have to pass along the family chain to the male side, and to someone I like. I like you.

Congratulations on picking a spectacular time of the year to be born, Well done. Smart timing. Summer in the Okanagan is wonderful and it brings out the best in everyone and everyone out—so I am sure your celebration at the water park will be a big hit. I imagine it will be just as chaotic and fun as your sister’s bash last week.

You can have your cake and eat it too

People will try and tell you later in life that you can’t have your cake and eat it too but they are wrong sometimes. Sometimes you CAN have your cake and eat it too and in fact should. This weekend I am positive there will be cake again at the party and this time it is your cake. You can have it and you can eat it too, so that is proof of what I say.

Later in life there may be things that you want but you can’t have for some reason. When that happens measure the reason and decide if it is worth the risk, time, energy or…. to change it. If not walk away. If it is—then plant your flag and stand by it.

Keep on smiling and laughing

When I think of you Stanley I visualize your full faced ear to ear grin. A happier face I have never laid witness to. Smiling and laughing is something that suits you well and will carry you far in this world. It can be an ugly, mean nasty, world sometimes Stan; full of mean people with bad intentions and no scruples. They cannot simply be smiled away, however it sure does help the will, spirit and soul—and really confuses the opponent. There are no easy routes, free rides or secret portals to a hassle free lifetime , but I guarantee laughing and smiling most of the way sure beats being miserable.

Always say please and thank you

Manners are very important. Being polite and courteous is important in all social aspects including employment, career, family and relationships,

Respect yourself. It is important to respect other people, their rights, their space, their faith, even their quirky ways. It is also very important to respect yourself. When you do it leads to making good choices. For you and others around you.

Finally a word mentioned elsewhere

Choice.

Life is all about choice, Stanley.

You may not have a lot of say or choice in a lot of the things that happen to you in life, but you always have a choice in how you deal with them.

Even when your time on this planet comes to an end many, many years from now you will have a choice right until the end. You may not have a choice about when you die or what it is that takes you away from here, but you do have a choice in how you handle the departure.

However, today is about you little man and your third birthday.

Soak it up, enjoy the sunshine in your day and your life, and if nothing else remember this—eat lots and lots of cake.

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