I met a woman at a bridal shower once, and she said she used to read my column and watch me on television. Then she said that the one thing she regrets in her life...that she didn’t go back to work after her children were raised. After all, she had a college degree, she said.
I said, “Go back to work now.”
She laughed and said that she was in her seventies and it was too late.
She then said that a regret her husband had is that he didn’t go to medical school. He was offered a scholarship but opted to sell suits at a local department store for nine dollars a week.
Another woman said that she regrets not going back to school and finishing her education. When she was in her thirties she regretted this; when she was in her forties she regretted it; and now she is in her mid-sixties and she still regrets it.
Then this woman asked me if I had any regrets. I said that actually I had been thinking about this very thing recently, and one thing I regret is that I have baked about 2,000 pies since I’ve been married. Everyone laughed when they heard my regret, but I think of all the cholesterol and sugar I have consumed and all the time I could have spent reading novels and being with my children.
Another regret I have thought of since is that I yelled too much at our first child when he forgot his lunch, which was almost daily.
I’d be driving him and his brother to school when he would inform me that he had forgotten his lunch. Since the school didn’t have a cafeteria, I was always faced with deciding whether to go back home for his lunch and be late for work, or take him to school and hope that a hungry stomach would teach him to be more responsible.
Thinking back, I could have gotten around this whole ugly scene, in which I would lecture, he would feel miserable, and then I’d feel guilty. I could have taken it upon myself to bring his lunch. I could have found other ways to teach responsibility besides insisting that he remember his lunch bag.
My daughter forgot her lunch once too. I asked her what she was going to do. She assured me that one of her friends would share her lunch. I said that was nice.
I drove away from her school with no regrets.
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,“ and “Thin Becomes You” at Doris’ web page: http://www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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