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Your birthday is coming up, and I hate that I won’t be there to eat all your cake and give you a wedgie. But I thought I’d give you something nearly as irritating–advice.
I will admit that your Uncle comes from a long line of uncles who give bad advice. When I was 9, my Uncle Rheet told me I could gain weight and stop looking so wormy if I would eat kudzu vines and wild onions. When I told Uncle Gurt what Uncle Rheet recommended, he laughed and said, “That’s silly. You don’t eat the kudzu. You have to roll it up and smoke it.” My Uncle Cecil once counseled me as to the best way to steal milk from under a goat.
So, if I were going to give any advice, it would likely be, “Ignore advice from anybody but your Daddy.” Even your mamma is as crazy as a road lizard. I wrote that mainly because I suspect she’s the one reading this to you. But she did skip school one day to get her nails done before a Kenny Chesney concert. What sane person goes to a Kenny Chesney concert?
If Granny Sally was still alive you would never have to ask for advice. She’d be handing it out every morning with the flapjacks. But it would all be worth hearing. She gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received: “Learn to shut up and listen.”
“You might learn somethin’ if you quit runnin’ your gob,” she’d say. “But even if you don’t, at least you won’t be fillin’ the air with more foolishness.” Think about that. Wise indeed.
It is evidently true too. Wise people listen more than they talk. And you don’t usually find that sort of person walking around smoking kudzu vines either.
You’re turning 10 in a few days. Nearly grown! But don’t be in a hurry. Take time to find people with gray hair and lots of wrinkles on their faces. Ask them to tell you stories. And learn to listen well. You’ll need those stories later on.
Hopefully I will get to see you soon. Kiss your mamma for me. Mind your daddy. Be nice to your little brother. And don’t take any wooden nickels.
P.S. I know your parents gave you an Aggies shirt, but I sent along an Alabama Crimson Tide hat for you. Trust me, you’ll be happier in the long run.