Monday, January 14, 2008

Regrets

I'm having a few regrets here...ever have any of those?
My Princess is making some things very clear to me...I see it now...The way I spent more time ordering her mommy around than playing Barbies with her...the way I loved to read..to myself that is...but treated reading to her like a chore...and hence she regarded reading as a chore...still does...the way I shushed and shooed her and her siblings away and rarely ever had time for romps in the yard or fort building under the dining room table...but always had time for correcting and chastising and making sure the teeth were brushed and the toys put away...growing up with me as a mom certainly had its drawbacks...and I see them all now so clearly...routine and order and staying within the lines...God help me...I see it all ...a harsh and rigid picture.
If we only knew then what we know now..right?
I know, I know, I shouldn't be so hard on myself...I had 3 kids, I had to keep house and make dinners and lunches and do laundry, monitor homework and drive to baseball and ballet....it all seems like a dream now...was I really just getting by to get by...marking time til "one day" ? Keeping order for God knows what? It surely looks that way...
I am impressed with how sad that really is...how wasted so much of it is and how you never really "get" things til its too late...(why is that?)
I think it has something to do with original sin. Not that I wasn't a believer...I was...and trying so very hard...but this is a perfect illustration of how Adam's screw up has affected me..he screwed up..and infected his kids..then they screwed up and infected theirs and so on all the way to me...so I followed suite and screwed up my kids..no matter how hard I tried I had no chance of doing it right...
But thank the Lord, that's not me now...not that I'm completely liberated from the effects of sin...not quite yet...:) but I have come to understand that today is all we really have...everything changes and life slips away very quickly...as King Solomon said life truly is "just a vapor" and one day "poof" its gone. Thank God mine isn't gone just yet...I still can redeem the time...My Princess is teaching me some valuable lessons and maybe things will be different this time...for her and her cousins to come, at least as far as I'm concerned...that really is why they call it grand, you know...its like a second chance... a chance to right some of the wrongs you were too young and stupid to know were wrongs the first time around...a chance to move a little more slowly and savor the moments that life is made up of....maybe I still have time...time to smell a few flowers, read a few books...build a few forts...

16 comments:

Sarah said...

oh, thank you, Cheryl. A good, timely reminder.

Bek said...

hmmmmmm, this is good to hear...makes me think and evaluate.....i want to make playing more important too....

A Chelsea Morning said...

You really are being hard on yourself, Cheryl, but I think all of us fairly new grandparents are. For me personally, I think it's because I watch my daughter mothering my grandson and I realize my chance to do that has passed.

And to be completely honest, I think it's a lot easier to be attentive and completely devoted to our grandchildren because we no longer have to do all the other stuff that's in the mom's job description.

It's about 100% easier to be a grandmother than it ever was to be a mother.

But I never feel a sense of it being too late. It's never too late. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to treat our loved ones like we might never see them again.

Aging. It's a whole new ballgame, isn't it? :-)

Pat said...

I have decided to sum up my earlier child rearing years (which we're very similar to yours) as ignorance, and accept that with age comes wisdom. What a privledge to get a second chance when you become a grandparent - hopefully that wisdom keeps growing, and we keep sharing what we learn....just like you just did.

everydayRANDOM said...

Aamen, sister!
i always say if you aren't a better grand than parent, you have done Something wrong. I Wish I knew why it seems so clear now. I only had one child but she was constantly sick and I worked 10 days in a row forever - it certainly isn't a good excuse but I try to forgive myself and do better by her kids.
You are a good grand and the Princess it just going to make you better. Listen to her wise words, make play in whatever form, a priority everyday. You will do fine, I have all the confidence in the world in you!

Ame said...

When I was 30 years old, I finally forgave my mother. It took me ten years. She left a wake of need for forgiveness with all the abuse.

I went to a retreat shortly after where a woman spoke. She was raised in the most beautiful Christian home with godly and loving parents. She raised wonderful children and had wonderful grandchildren. I went to her after she spoke to talk to her, and all I could get out through the heaving sobs were, "I've finally forgiven my mom." And you know what she said?!!! This woman with this wonderful life said, "I had to forgive my mom, too."

That has never left me. I learned we all have to forgive our moms ... and, more importantly, I learned that my children will have to forgive me someday.

May I teach them to forgive as Christ forgave them ... then when it comes time to forgive me, they will already know forgiveness :)

Your husband, children, and precious Princess and eternally blessed to have you :)

Christo Swanepoel said...

Hey sister, yip, as they say hindsight is always 20/20.
It is sisters and brothers willing to openly and honestly say and write what you say and write, that help us doing it a little bit better a little bit earlier.
By better I mean, having a chance to spend more time, to read more books, to play more.....sooner.

So, thank you, I listen.

Love
Christo

bjk said...

a chance to love and appreciate more.....this was very good...thanks

Margie said...

You know I'm an honest girl... First of all, don't be so hard on yourself, things need to get done, and sure, we all can woulda, coulda, shoulda ourselves to death, but we do/did the best we could. Plus... your job as a grandparent is much different than your job as a parent.
BUT that being said, I think that this has been sent as a good reminder that we need to spend some quality time with our kids. Snuggling while watching a movie and eating a pizza sound like a good remedy on a Tuesday night.

Thank you

Goody said...

Oh Cheryl! Your story is true for all of us. But, we did what we did because that is what we did. We might even do the same thing again if we had another chance. Children are a huge responsibility and I was somewhat of a child myself. But, love them I did and I am so thankful that I was chosen to be their mother. God certainly does the choosing dosen't he.
Grandchildren are another thing. They are the undeserved blessing of pure enjoyment. Their parents get to worry about them and we only have to love them and rejoice in the time we get to spend with them. Emma had her tonsils out in November and I got to go to Florida and be with her for a few days when Sarah and Bill went to work. It was pure joy! I loved getting up in the morning and staring at her sleeping face. I loved finding things she could eat. I loved making cut out snow flakes and letting the pieces fall to the floor. I didn't mind the messes we made or the cartoons we watched. I am going on and on but I know that the Lord has given me this gift of his love. Praise the Lord! You are complete in him Cheryl and anyone would be delighted to be related to you! I am!! This is the day that the Lord has made.

Joni said...

It's good to know you're not one of those moms that thinks it didn't matter, because "they all turned out okay".

God has to do His work in each of us day by day, moment by moment...

Thanks for the reminder, though. My kids are still young, and the "keep them on the right track" syndrome is so easy to fall into. It's so much easier to say "maybe later".

Tammy said...

Loved your post...I think all us mothers (even myself) have felt this way...it's so easy to get into that cycle...everything in order...no time for the kids...I'm trying to work on this myself, but sometimes it really is hard. Thanks for the reminder of what truly is important.

momteacherfriend said...

Thanks!
My daughter loves to read, she recently told me she wants to be a librarian when she grows up. It is so hard sometimes to take the time to read to her. I have to be conscience of it or I do just as you said.

Great reminder.

BekABoo said...

I don't regret your activity in my childhood. I think it's a little more glaring in a situation with an only child than it was with 3 of us. We had each other to entertain and she's alone. I know it was hard and there was a lot going on and 3 kids are a handful, and dad and his world were another handful of their own. I'll try to remember this! Even now, I find myself already wishing time away.

Mrs. Mac said...

Being a grandparent is God's way for us to continue on the nurturing gift within us ... without all the responsibilities that can get in the way. Start thinking of all the positive things about your prior parenting years ... then wait for the times your children come and thank you for the life you gave them.

Vicki said...

Oh, friend...I know what you're saying...my little one is teaching me a few things:-) But my grown children are now starting to see how hard parenting really is...