I want a do over. I want to go back to sticky fingers and drool covered chins. I want a chance to react differently, to listen more, to pay attention.
When I was married the days passed in a blur, when I got divorced they passed even more quickly, and I had less time to notice and enjoy my child.
I want to go back and do it right. I think that no matter what you did right there are always so many things you wish you had done differently.
I wish I had listened more when Hailey rambled on about her day instead of making comforting noises in the right places while I instead focused on making dinner, doing the laundry or paying bills.
I wish I had reacted better when she made a mistake instead of being so tired that I took the easy way out. So many days as a single parent you feel bone weary, and one more thing is one too many. The kids misbehave, it’s time out for everyone. You don’t find out what caused the problem, you just want the noise to stop, so you send everyone away. I wish I had listened, there is so much I could have learned about my child and how she sees the world.
I wish I had put more energy into the things Hailey enjoys instead of just being grateful for the few minutes of down time I got while she pursued her interests.
I wish I had laughed more. We laughed a lot, it was how we got through things, but I wish there was more laughter, more joy, more time to make memories. I wish I had paid more attention to the memories being made.
Now that Hailey is older I wish it all back. When she was a baby, I wished it away, waiting for her to take the next step towards independence. I wish someone had told me that when you baby starts walking, they are not taking steps towards you.