We said he would catch up on all his milestones.
We said he would be able to do all the things that other kids do.
It would just be delayed, due to his “hypotonia” or low muscle tone. His poor, little weak hands would learn. His long, skinny fingers that did not naturally or easily handle fine motor tasks would get stronger.
And they did.
And they didn’t.
Ryan is almost 15 years old and he does not know how to tie his own sneakers.
This hit me hard the other day.
My brace-faced boy who is SO EXCITED to go to high school next year, who is growing so tall and so handsome, cannot tie his shoes.
Should I have hired an OT (occupational therapist) to work with him over and over on this years ago?
Should I have printed out each step in pictures and tried myself to work with Ryan?
Was I too lazy or too busy?
How did this slip by?
Shouldn’t he know how to do this BY NOW? Insert flogging and self-flagellating behavior…
Did I fail?
Did I fail him?
What do we do with REGRET?
What do we do with the woulda-shoulda-couldas of our lives as mothers?
1). I think first we acknowledge it. Say it out loud. Be aware.
2). Then ask ourselves: what is the lesson here? What can I learn through this?
3). Do something with it. Don’t let it just sit there, hanging over you. Can you do the thing you didn’t do?
Can you apologize to someone?
Can you apologize to yourself?
Make a decision.
As in: I didn’t teach Ryan how to tie his shoes and NOW I am going to.
4). Let it go. Choose to be grateful that you learned something through this and then leave it alone. Write it down on a piece of paper and then rip it up, toss in the circular file. Or burn it--preferably without children in sight. ;)
Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can't build on it - it's only good for wallowing in.