This week’s writing challenge is to write about the ability to time travel. Where would I go and why?
I would definitely go back to the day my daughter was born, 13.5 years ago. What a beautiful and delightful baby she was! We knew just how to care for her, and she was one of those babies that responded in such a way as to make us think we were perfect parents. Boy, were we wrong! I’d go back and start over knowing everything I now know. For instance, just how little is a two- or three-year-old. We thought she was so big when her brother was born when she was 3.5 years old. Looking back at those pictures, she was such a baby! Her feet didn’t even meet the end of the couch. My biggest regret is putting way too much responsibility on such a little soul much sooner than I should have. She lost some of her childhood because we expected far too much way too soon. I know that no parent is perfect, and I’m sure she isn’t scarred for life, but still, if I could, I would do it over again.
I would encourage my daughter to be more creative, not to fear being wrong, and to laugh at everything. I would assure her that I love her no matter what, and that making mistakes is part of life. I would play more and dictate less. I would snuggle all she wanted. All those things I was too busy doing were so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. I would let her leave the house with her hair a mess, play make up on every inch of her body, and the most horribly mismatched clothes you have ever seen. I would play with silly string in the house, throw water balloons at the house, and sing silly songs at the top of our lungs at the park. I’d do all the things I thought were inappropriate at the time, but would have been so fun!
The ability to time travel is definitely something lack. Sometimes I wish I could. Parenting is hard! Really hard. I’ve made mistakes, have regrets, and learned how to do it better. Unfortunately, I don’t get another chance to do it better, since both my kids are out of the baby/preschool stage. What I can do, however, is take what I’ve learned and apply it to the here and now. Instead of hanging out on electronics, we go fishing. Instead of cleaning the house all day, we go see a movie. I have committed to getting the kids and I out on the weekends I have them to go somewhere new. And, now that it’s sports season, I attend every game with my full attention. Even if I have work to do, chores not done, or someone else who needs my attention, my kids come first. The rest can wait.
Here is the link to the original DP Challenge. Try it out for yourself and see what you can come up with!