I think there is a vast difference between reminiscing about something and regretting. Being a mom, it's a daily ping pong match back and forth in my mind. One moment I'm reminiscing about something adorable my first born, who is now 5, did, and the next moment I'm regretting not living in that moment that I'm remembering.
Evan, my oldest, starts kindergarten on Monday. Today, Friday, I didn't think about getting laundry done, picking up the toys, making beds, making grocery lists, getting my work assignments done; instead, I let dishes pile up, kept toys laying in piles like land mines across the house, and I got on the floor and played with all three of my children...really played.
Today was filled with reminiscence and regret.
I reminisced about the past five years I've had with Evan at home. I gave thanks for being able to stay at home with him. I thought about trips to the park, lazy days in our pjs, playdates and jumpy places. I was also filled with regret of what we didn't do -- what we didn't do enough of.
I regretted not doing more. Not going to enough mommy and me music sessions, mornings at the children's museum, days at the beach, walks to the park and so much more.
I had three children very close together: two and four years apart. I started comparing myself to the other moms of more than one child and how they would be adventurous and go out with their infants and entourage of children. Why didn't I brave it? What didn't I do MORE?
This week, as I scrolled through Facebook posts of moms doing this and that with their kids, regret started to creep back in. Then I began to reminisce and get nostalgic about my little Evan. Back and forth; back and forth.
I will no longer have those pj mornings with Evan, the option of going to the park or to the beach. He will leave me every morning and come home every late afternoon. I won't hear his little conversations or get to watch him play pretend or stop and have him excitedly tell me his latest thought or idea.
But you know what? I did have it. So I shouldn't be filled with regret of what I DIDN'T do, but what I had the opportunity of doing with him these first 5 years.
So today, instead of gallivanting around with 3 kids on the last weekday before school begins, trying to make memories that I could reminisce about later on, we stayed in our pjs until 11, played Batman and sword fighting, ate lunch together, read books, talked and watched some episodes of Rescue Bots and Curious George and The Wild Kratts.
It was a good day.
Evan will start kindergarten in a few days, and I'll cry and probably will still regret a few things, but if another mom is maybe sending out their little one to school for the first time and wishes they had done those Pinterest crafts or baked more or took them more places, just know that the greatest memory they will have is YOU.
I'll try to remember that, too.