It was another long day, another long day by myself with the girls while F worked like a dog in the hospital. He was out of the house by 5am and will be home sometime tomorrow. Wasn’t he just on call a day and a half ago?
It was a day I rushed through everything, always thinking about what needed to be done next, what could be skipped, what could be done early. It was a day of tension and a day of mommy’s raised voice, all so I could get through the day as quickly and easily as possible…all so the day with the kids would be over.
Now that the girls are in bed and I’ve had a few minutes of peace, I am thinking to myself, “Why didn’t I stop and enjoy a minute of the day? Why didn’t I relax and play with the girls on the floor instead of doing those dishes that could have waited another hour? Why didn’t I sing one more song to Tingting as she laid her head on my shoulder? Why didn’t I read one more very short book to Ayay before saying goodnight?”
About a year or so ago, F’s mom sent us the following poem via email. I printed it out and have had it on my refrigerator ever since. It reminds me to relax, breathe and enjoy.
If I Had My Life To Live Over by Erma Bombeck
If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.