"Take a breath. Start again."
I'm saying it to myself a lot lately.
It's not a news flash to anyone that this parenting gig is impossibly hard. And yet I find myself amazed at just how complex and challenging it is to raise these little human beings. Every day I fear the time for character development is already behind us, that I have failed them in some major, irretrievable way.
Suddenly my seven year old seems so big. So separate. So OLD.
I've never been interested in regrets, as it's clearly unhealthy to spend too much time thinking about them, but I sometimes lie awake and think about what I would do differently with her. Sometimes, especially late at night, I hunger to go back in time and try again.
There are many things that I would do differently but mostly this: every time I've stood in front of my child, filled frustration and fear, I would pause, breathe, and walk away instead of opening my mouth.
It feels so necessary at the time - CLEARLY I NEED TO SAY SOMETHING TO FIX THIS - but it isn't. It just isn't.
Since I don't have the option of taking anything back or starting anything over, I will do this.
I will take a breath. I will start again.