You Can’t Regret Regrets!

Special milestones often invite reflection and with reflection comes regret.  My two children are about to graduate and though this should be a very happy time for me, there is a sad echo inside saying I wish I would have been more, or done this. The truth is parenting is the hardest job in the world. And when people are touting about their adult children’s accomplishments the response that often follows is, ” Do you know what that means? You did a great job as a parent!” But what if that person grows up to mark society in a negative way or doesn’t measure up to what your idea of success is? Does that mean you were an awful parent?

I recently read of an interesting experiment that started off with a simple observation of rats and pups.  Scientists were pulling the pups out to observe their physical condition, then putting them back in the tank.  Randomly, they noticed sometimes an adult rat would rush to the pup and nurture it by preening and licking it. The pup would calm down. So the scientists decided to separate the pups they knew to have been nurtured verses the ones that did not.  The ones not nurtured would stick to the outside rim of the tank while the ones that had been nurtured would venture to the center. Then the scientists would put food in the tank. The ones not nurtured took longer to trust and eat. The nurtured ones were bold and just went to the food.  So they went on to study a group of kids that grew up below the poverty line through out their lives and concluded the ones that grew up in a nurturing environment were successful. This included studying the ones that were held more as babies.  They addressed how there was a period where babies were viewed as mechanical and parents were encouraged to leave them to cry, and they would eventually fall asleep. According to their study, this was not the best thing to do.

So I reflect and I have regrets of my parenting performance, like most people do. But then I quiet that echo by telling myself, “You can’t regret regrets.” No one has a baby and knows what the heck they are doing.  When the second baby comes along, you might have learned something, which is why the first one is often called the guinea pig. But if I never had that first one or any at all, I would have never have known the joy that comes with holding a pure innocent life in those aqua pink and blue blankets, and feeling that you are needed and loved by that soul. ( And I know friends that have adopted and get it because as children grow with you, the love does too.)

I am blessed because my two kids grew up to be pretty great people to get to know.  One is a college graduate, an English major.  The other is going off to college.  Can I take credit for it? I don’t know. What I do know was that their younger years were a tumultuous course because there was divorce and separation. Do I regret having them? Never! What I regret was that chaotic transition they witnessed as I settled into my new life. But if I wouldn’t have met the man I divorced, then I never would have met them. And that would indeed be the biggest regret of all.  “You can’t regret regrets!”

In Response to Daily Word Prompt: Nervous About…

Womens right to vote
From Pinterest

The message above expresses how I feel, as a woman being able to take on all the privileges that everyone else is afforded in our country. I’m so proud that we almost voted for a woman to be our President, and know we are just a short block away from getting there. What makes me nervous (and I say this cautiously, at the risk of alienating women who are always so positive with my blogs , but I think it’s necessary to speak my mind freely, again as a privilege afforded to me)  is the kinds of demonstrations in the name of women’s rights, or a great injustice done to all women in our country. In our country? If today’s stand, for example, of schools closing down in the name of women around the world being treated unfairly, then I would fully endorse this movement. But I simply cannot. I’m in for everything that stands for creative, independent, strong women who give back to our communities and set high moral examples to our daughters, and show them where their beauty really comes from.  But, for example, a few schools closed down here, in our U.S., because women are being encouraged not to go to work today and not shop today to show how essential we are to our economy. Great! For some single moms out there trying to keep things all together, now their children can’t get to school and they have to make arrangements for them so they can get to work and make their living. Do you see what I’m getting at? The Women’s March I did not “get” either. What injustices exactly are we marching for? And who are we following?, because this organizer seems to have used violence in her past to make a point. I’m just saying we are better than this. Children throw tantrums to be heard, but they don’t always get their way, because the adult knows the child is crying to get them to do something. That’s what a lot of these different waves of movements remind me of. Spoiled children. You did not get your way in this last Presidency ( neither did I for the record). Can we take a quick glance at Bill Clinton, or JFK and their regard for women? This too shall pass. What we should be doing instead of making all this cacophony of sounds, is pull together NOW. Begin pulling great, strong examples of our community out, and put them in the forefront so people begin to know their names and messages NOW. When the next election comes, the foundation of a strong positive movement can be set and ready, so people don’t have to figure out who they are or what they stand for. To our young people I say, if you are tired of these two parties, start NOW and lay the foundation for a third party that can really  shake things up, but do it for the right reasons.

Post journal Day 278: Still learning to “EMBRACE” Peace be with you all!