Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 13: Do You Have Regret?

Um...yeah. Emily Watts once said something like "If there is guilt to be found in a two mile radius, I will find it  and make it mine." Never has anyone so elegantly captured my personality in a single sentence. This was incredibly vivid when my oldest daughter was a baby. I wanted to do parenting right. I read parenting books during every second of her nap times. As a result, if I was holding her, I felt guilty that she wasn't down on the ground strengthening her neck muscles. If she was down on the ground, I felt guilty that she wasn't in my arms, bonding and learning how much I loved her. It took a long time before I learned to put down the parenting books and trust my instincts.

Our new kitten, Apollo
Picture taken by my daughter
Last week, we got a kitten. We've been petless for nearly a year now, and it was with many misgivings that I allowed myself to get talked into this cat. I am not an animal person, but my kids are. Well, this kitten is amazing. It's the first time we've had a kitten when I haven't been completely wrapped up in the business of having my own babies. I can't believe how much time he wants to spend cuddling, and I feel enormous regret that I didn't spend this much time socializing my other animals. He takes nearly as much time as a baby. And he loves me! He loves me so much that my "I am not an animal person" mantra might be crumbling to the ground. Sweet, sweet kitten. Did my other animals need me this much and I just didn't see it? I don't know what I could have done differently, and it isn't that they had miserable lives. Our last cat loved my oldest daughter fiercely, and our golden retriever was strong-willed enough to seek out enough loving to stay happy.

But huge, earth-shaking regrets? No. I do regret that I always talked my mom out of going on a whale watch when she came to visit. Now she's gone. That's on my bucket list of things to do when I get to heaven.

I regret that sometimes I yell too easily, and usually not at the child who got me riled up in the first place. Because I've been holding it in with that child, it's usually the next child to not be perfect that pops my control.

It is bittersweet, to think of the paths that have closed when I've chosen to take a different route. Right before we moved across the country 13 years ago, I was offered a full-time teaching position at a university. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but someone was offering me my DREAM JOB. I'm grateful my husband had already accepted his current job and our stuff was already packed, so I didn't have to torture myself over the choice. I would make the same decision over again, but there is a tender, raw spot in my heart when I realize I'm no longer qualified for a job like that. Who knows if I ever will be? But do I regret it? No. Not at all. Think of everything I would have missed.

31 Day Blog Challenge:


4 comments :

  1. Aw that is sweet about the kitten, I recently got a kitten too for Christmas from the hubby and it's amazing how loving cats are :)

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  2. It's hard not to let guilt eat us up, but guilt is the bane of happiness!

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  3. I too get frustrated and yell..ugh. I hate that. :( Things even out though..
    I love that pic of your kitty, so cute! Animals sometimes brings families together even closer I have noticed. All of our other animals were older by the times the kids knew what they were, so with our kitten that is one year old now first came, they were all so excited!! Who know a 13yo boy could get excited over a kitten, eh? :D

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  4. I definitely understand getting worked up at one child, when the other caused the frustration. Ahhh, the joys of motherhood, lol. Your new kitty is too cute! We just got one today and my girls are in heaven. Stopping by from the link-up and now following. :-)

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