"Every action has an equal and immediate reaction. Speaking from personal experience, don't be too hasty to respond - with actions, or words!" ~nrl
Extending 'grace' is an indication of strength, while yet admitting our own weaknesses. Please accept my weaknesses; let me avow my strength of grace." ~nrl
I've been thinking a lot about adult child relationships with aging parents. I do believe that if the parents live long enough, the roles and interactions with each other do change somewhat. The adult child often ends up being the caregiver or at least put in more of a "maternal" or "paternal" role. Once your children become self-sufficient adults, taking on their own challenges in life, they can't help but begin to understand struggles and reasons why we, as parents, did the things we did. Until they can take life on, so to speak, we are their protectors, their teachers, their guidance counselors.
The toughest role of all is being a child's "role model". There is no rule book for being a parent. In most cases, we are still "coming into our own" as we begin parenthood. Parents are human - they make mistakes, too. Parents also make bad decisions and they are, first and foremost, NOT perfect. I always told my daughter, "Don't try to be like me, try to be better than me," and I also told her, "I'm the best bad example you've got. I can teach you more what not to do in life, than what to do." I'm not proud of that, it's just a fact.
At this stage in my life - watching her grow and blossom, watching her beginning her own family - is reminiscent of the beginning of my married life (becoming a wife, a mate, and eventually a parent). So much is different now for current generations, yet so much is the same as it was - in all generations past.
When you become a parent, your whole life slaps you in the face - all those actions and decisions you made growing up (before even considering parenthood) come back to you - up close, and personal. The good, the bad, the indifferent - your choices in friends, your interactions with friends and family, your response mechanisms to and from loved ones. Everything you did, everything you are, everything you have become is due to all of those choices along the way.
If you're smart, you'll continue to grow. Learn something new each and every day. I strive to do that - whether it's from someone 2 years old, or from someone 92! Wake up counting your blessings, and have an attitude of positivity ... even when you think things are not good. Have an occasional pity party, if you must, just don't stay there and wallow. Don't let it consume you, or last too long. Try to make life a "heart-to-heart" hug! Embrace it!
As we age, it's so easy to question ourselves - about choices and decisions we've made in our lives. We can guilt ourselves to the grave, but the hard, cold fact of life is (and I detest this saying) ... "it is, what it is" ... you can't change things in the past, it is over and done. There are no "reruns" or "do overs" in life. You can't "take back" words, or actions. Forgive yourself and find solace in knowing that you are doing your best, going forward.
It's all right to falter and fail in life; skinned knees and hitting your head on a brick wall are all part of the process. Just pay attention - and learn something from that failure or regret. Take something from that experience to help make you a better person.
If regrets weigh heavy, you have the option to try and "mend fences" ... write letters, text, email, or make phone calls and share your heart. It's heart heavy to sit under a tree, and talk to a rock.