Last week an angel mom whom I've never meet in person, but call her friend, asked me this question, "if you knew from the beginning of his life that Miles would die, would you have done anything different?"
I have never thought of this before. Probably because I won't really allow myself to think of things I didn't do, but I try and focus on things we did do. There really aren't too many regrets I have with Miles. I of course am not a perfect parent, I'm trying just like everyone else. More than anything I mourn over the memories lost than the memories lived imperfectly. But her question really got me thinking and still has me thinking about how I am with my girls. I responded with something like this.
I would be more patient with him and probably less strict about trivial things. I wouldn't get so upset about being late for things because he wasn't hurrying like I expected him to in order to get out the door. He was trying and for that I should be grateful. He was just little and his hurrying isn't what mine is.
I would let him make more messes, and leave his forts up longer instead of being bugged by his creative imagination because I saw it as out of order and chaotic.
I would let him mix his play-doh with as many colors as he wished. I mean it's for him to play with, not me. And if he wanted crazy mixes, who am I to stop it?
I wouldn't worry so much about him getting his clothes messy and dirty from food or playing. I would instead try and be more like my grandma and get to be a master of stains. And should I not get one out, I may look at it more like a badge of childhood honor gained from a new adventure conquered.
I would have hugged him longer and probably slept in his bed every night with him. (Okay maybe not that last part....but maybe.)
I wouldn't listen to what the world wanted him to be or put expectations on him, or myself as his mother, to conform to the world's views on what we should be doing and when. I would want him to only worry about what the next hour's adventure would be. Not what the world and society wanted him to know, do and think in his life.
I would want him to LOVE life. I think he did, but I would make sure he worried less, and experienced joy in every moment no matter the circumstances. There is always something positive to find right. I would help him look for that.
But above all I would look him in the eyes every day and make sure he knew he was loved more than anything in the world. I honestly did tell him everyday that I loved him. But I would make sure he KNEW it with every action, word and touch I had with him. I would love him so hard it would hurt!!
Miles' first ice cream cone ever. He was 2. I was too afraid of how dirty he would get so I never gave him his own cone. He got plenty dirty but he loved every minute of it! And it all washed up perfectly.