getting away from regret
I suppose I will regret lots of things at the end of my life, but I know for certain that I will not regret rocking my babies an extra minute after they've drifted off to sleep or ending phone calls to listen to my 3 year old discuss why Jesus loves her or staying in bed instead of running to cuddle my growing 7 year old or letting my 4 year old give me a makeover just before bedtime or lying on the floor next to my 18 month old after a diaper change to stare at the spinning ceiling fan. These are some of the things I will not regret. (Let's not talk about the things I will. ;))
Life is moving fast now. My baby is already 13 pounds. Soon he will out eat me. V is off to kindergarten this year. Mya is giggling like a foolish tween at silly romantic scenes she sees on Netflix. Elle has asked certain people to stop calling her Elle Belle, preferring to go by "just Elle." (tear) And I have hope that Felicity will start talking any day now. I just know words are just stuffed behind that big toothy grin. Our lives are changing; I am changing. I feel my priorities shifting, mostly toward spending every last minute with the babies before they're no longer babies.
Why do we rush these stages so much? Why do we often say "I can't wait for them to be 3, 4, 5, 10, 16?" I am guilty of this myself. Does it actually get easier watching our babies grow because at the moment I feel my heart ache knowing Mya only has 10.5 years left under my wing. Geez. 10.5 years seems like nothing. Well, on her hardest days, it feels like eternity, but as I sit here and write it feels like nothing. Am I happy with the past 7.5 years? Have I done a decent job or have I mucked it all up and warped her brain? Probably the latter.
This summer has been very educational for me. I have a heightened awareness of how I react to things and how I project my feelings on the kids. The more I react (and poorly I might add), the more they act out or retreat inward. And so, I am trying to master my ability to stop, breathe, and respond. I'm doing 60% better--still so much room for improvement. I keep learning and acknowledging my triggers: noise, clutter, spilled liquid and boo boos, and I've tried hard to teach my kids about my triggers. Mya now understands that it's not really her that drives me crazy when she spills water for the 5th time in one day, but it's the mess that overwhelms me because it just adds one more thing to my ever-growing list of things to do. Now I have to get the other girls to understand that too because I hate the way they look at me when they spill things. I keep reminding myself "All in good time."
I sometimes think we, as parents, forget that our kids might be old enough, wise enough, mature enough, etc. to understand us and our fallacies. We don't have to face this whole parenting thing alone, even though it seems that way when it's 2pm, and there isn't another adult insight. The more I educate them, the more their patient with me, and I feel less guilty at the end of the day. And less guilt equals less regret. And I'm all about avoiding regret, especially when it comes to my family. I always want them to know that everything I do, I do for them. Every sack lunch I make, every 30 minute drive I make to a splash pad, every awkward playdate I sit through, every boogery shirt I wear--it's all for them. I love them.
Labels: scattered thoughts