If I Had Known …

If I had known then what I know now,

I would have stopped the clock and savored every precious moment.

Instead, I found myself encumbered with the daily task of trying to keep afloat in being a mother.

If I had known then what I know now,

I would have frozen time just to gaze upon your little chest, rising and falling with every heartbeat while you slept peacefully in your crib.

If I had known then what I know now,

I would have sung more lullabies while rocking you on my lap, nestled in my arms, given you more kisses, and chased away all nightmares.

I’d have tickled you harder, squeezed you tighter, laughed with you louder, and played silly games with you longer.

I would have taken more walks in the park, built many sand castles, eat more ice cream cones with sprinkles, dug for the best sea shells, rode on all the merry-go-rounds, climbed every rock, smelled every flower, played catch more, run through the rain puddles, taken more photos and captured every single moment with you!

I was needed when you were small; you relied upon me then. If I only could now, I would hold you closer still, wipe your every teardrop, chase your every fear, and never let you down.

But the tide has turned, and I can only watch from a distance. The sun has set and is hidden beyond the horizon. My silent tears serve as a constant reminder that times are fleeting. With every hour. Every minute. Every second.

My heart swells with pride to see that you, my children, have blossomed and matured.

But if I had known then what I know now … I would have done things so much differently. I would have hushed the madness with all the hustle and bustle sooner, and cherished those magic moments when you were small, to cradle you in my arms forever and never, ever let you go.

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May 6, 2015 · 9:39 PM

19 responses to “If I Had Known …

  1. Love this! And obviously very relevant to my current situation.

  2. I ,too,would have done things differently,if I had had the energy… After teaching all day… I was exhausted… I had papers to grade… If I could just have one little re-do, it would be to spend thirty minutes a day , one on one,turn off theTV, and just lay on the bed together and talk and laugh.

  3. Mary this is so heartfelt and beautiful. ❤

  4. I agree with Tess! Mothers think “if only” and yet, our children grow up to love us for loving them the best we could. Love the poem and yes, time flies:)

  5. Ruben Perez

    A good reminder for me as well. Good thing I do Lizards with my 3 Boys.

  6. When you know better, you do better. Beautiful tribute to your kids Mary. And as an adult daughter I can attest to the fact that we need you just as much as grown ups as we did as children. Just in entirely different ways! Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

  7. Beautiful. I don’t read this as regret. I read this as a tribute. 🙂

  8. Very precious, Mary Ann! Of course, I was thinking of my own darling Elise while reading your thoughts on Motherhood, and I’m so grateful that we’re very close.
    You just put into words what we all think …….
    P.S. Make sure your kids see this, so you can get some really cool Mother’s Day presents (lol) !

  9. Beautifully written, and you made me cry again. Every night when I tucked my kids into bed, I always thought I should have, could have done more that day. Even now, I regret every moment I put some task before catching frogs, or riding bikes with my boys. Does the guilt ever go away? I doubt it. But, oh, if I could have those fleeting moments back. Guess that’s what grandkids are for.

    • Isn’t that so, Karen? Reminds me of the song: If I Could Turn Back The Time … Catching frogs, huh? Wow! Don’t know if I could have done that, I drew the line with catching lizards! And yes, my grandkids do keep me young.

  10. I believe as parents, we all have regret, big ones, small ones, always, something, because we had to keep working to pay for life. I have regrets. I only one daughter and its interesting to talk about her regrets. Some are hurtful, but can we avoid them all? No.

  11. Betty Carr

    Beautiful! So sweet!

    Sent from my iPhone


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