Life Without Regret

It’s not a new concept, but most of the time is considered within the context of adventurous, momentous, or grand events.  Think skydiving, world travel, career changes, or choosing to quit work to stay home with your child.

I’ve decided to live without regret in the little things.  I don’t know exactly what that looks like all the time, but when I find myself in a moment of small, seemingly insignificant decision, I ask myself “what will I regret?”

I will tell you the things I will never regret.  Patience with my child, kindness to my husband, and generosity to others.

It’s not easy finding grace when you’re worn out at the end of the day.  And I’d be dishonest if I said I was eager to hop off the couch when my son calls out to me during the last 10 minutes of Law & Order.  But I know which one I’ll regret – and it’s not missing the end of my TV crime drama.

Just the other night, after what felt like an exceptionally long day, the house was quiet.  Conlan was tucked in, Rusty was in school, and the evening was mine.

Then, as predictable as it is every night, my son calls out “Mommy!  You need to snuggle me!”  Never mind that we already snuggle during his regular bedtime and story routine.  Round 2 has become part of the routine now.  If you read the books, though, you’re not supposed to go back in there.

“Mommy!  You need to snuggle me!  Pwease?”  A little more urgent this time.  I drag myself off the couch because I know without a doubt I will never regret trading “me” time for snuggle time with my little boy.

I creep into his room and lay down next to him.  He turns over and scoots in close so we are nose-to-nose, and in the glow of the night light I see his eyes wide open, nowhere near sleep, and a full-faced grin.  I close my eyes and snuggle closer, stroking his hair to help him fall asleep.  [I won’t regret this.]

“Mommy,” he whispers.  “I wanna snuggle more.”  And so we lay there a few more minutes until I decide it’s time to quietly slip out of the room.  [I won’t regret this.]

I try to get up and find I’m stuck.  Deep, belly-busting giggles erupt from my snuggle buddy.  My 3-year-old has me in a headlock,  and has been waiting patiently for me to realize he has trapped me.  I laugh at his laughter.  We giggle and laugh and snuggle and giggle and give goodnight kisses and I leave. [I won’t regret this.]

I could have missed that moment, that memory, but I didn’t – and I won’t regret it.

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