There are only a few days left before my baby turns 12.
The little one that made me a Mom.
The little one that was a challenge from the second she was born.
Raising her has been hard. I know that there is a lot more to come. I have been warned about middle school and high school. Even the college years. Sometimes I wonder if I have it in me.
Over the years whenever I said snarky things about being a Mom, almost always an older, wiser and more experienced Mom would chime it that it all goes by so fast and that soon you will miss all those little things that you found annoying.
I believe it more now.
In the thick of it, its impossible to think that way.
Or maybe it was just impossible for me.
Mostly, I have regrets.
I regret getting mad at her for peeing the bed.
I regret spanking her when she was 3.
I regret not sleeping in her room when she asked me.
I regret not getting her a puppy.
I regret not feeding her more exotic foods.
I regret not showing her more empathy.
I regret not taking her camping more.
I regret being annoyed at her when she was hyper.
I regret not living closer to family.
I regret yelling at her when she spilt nail polish on the carpet.
I regret telling her to play the bass guitar for band class.
I regret sending her to summer camp when she was clearly not ready.
I know I didn’t completely fuck her up.
I’m pretty sure she doesn’t remember half the things I listed, but when she grows up she will have a long list of ways I messed her up. I have the same long list with my Mom.
I know I have done a few things right.
There were a few difficult conversations we needed to have that I know I totally nailed. I even just gave myself a high five while thinking about it.
She’s had the flu for the last few days and she’s letting me care for her, without hurtful remarks. She’s been snuggling up to me and chatting about her ideas, her projects, her dreams and her life. We’ve laughed a lot. I’m listening more, keeping my opinions to myself and it’s working.
It’s been beautiful.
I might just keep my little 11-year-old home another day.