Today was a good day. Interestingly enough, though, it didn't start that way. Nope. Quite the opposite because my day began with one of those bad dreams we have just before waking. In my dream my son Matt was a little boy and for some reason, my husband Vaughan and I had sent him to live with another family because we were both too busy to look after him. In the dream, he had come home for a visit and I discovered that he'd started calling the woman looking after him Mom.
I have no idea what the dream meant, other than to say that I must have regrets about time I didn't spend with him growing up; and so it was with that feeling that I woke up. And it wasn't a pleasant awakening either. It was one of those mornings I hit snooze on my phone about 10 times and when I finally rolled out of bed and into the shower, I opted for the highest octane coffee I had.
And then it continued. I got to work and realized I'd left my glasses at home. Along with my make up bag, chap stick, and Ibuprofen (for the head ache that was beginning to take shape as I entered the office). But despite all that, I had a presentation to do at a local elementary school at 10:30 and knew I had to put my best game face on because presentations are always better when the people doing them are in a good mood.
So that's what I did. And it's an interesting thing that happens when we decide, that despite all stormy weather, we're going to have a good day anyway and approach everything that comes our way with a smile and a positive spirit. When we do this a surprising thing happens: suddenly a bad day has the potential of becoming the best day.
At least, that's how it was for me.
The presentation went amazing and the children clung to my words and the message I was there to share which is: YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Afterward, several kids approached me to talk and as I sat with each of them, listening and being there as they shared the worries on their minds and their hearts, I was gifted with the realization that maybe I wasn't such a bad mother after all. Although I got a lot of things wrong, I was always there, I always listened, and I think I conveyed the message that YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and I LOVE YOU beyond all measure in everything I did.
At least I hope so.
That's the kicker with regrets. As we grow older we grow wiser and from the vantage point of age and experience there are so many things we'd do differently but we can't. So I guess our best choice is to accept everything and to remember that even our mistakes are gifts for other people because nobody learns with an absence of struggle and perhaps in the universal scheme of things, the greatest gifts we give our children are the things they need to find the strength to overcome.
Today's reminder: What if our regrets - the things we'd change if we could - don't really need changing? What if everything we've done has acted as a universal domino prompting growth and learning in the people around us? What if we learned to accept this? What if?