There are many things I would change if I could go back in time.
I'm not of the opinion that one should have no regrets. If you have regret you have lived. Maybe not always wisely or even well but you have lived.
A life with no regrets suggests to me that you took no risks, never considered that you made mistakes and, well, we ALL make mistakes don't we?
So yes, I would change many things were I given that time again.
But we aren't and so we live with those regrets, make peace with ourselves for the mistakes we have made and, if we wish to move on, we try to find ways to forgive those who have mistakenly or even deliberately hurt us.
There are times where I allow scenarios to run through my mind.
If I had said, done, been something other than myself. If I had been able to predict what would happen as a result of my thoughts, words, actions ...
How differently would things have turned out? How would my life have been different? How did my behaviour affect the lives of others?
I don't know the answers, I just have the scenarios, a projected interpretation of my own mind based on the way I wish things were.
Today may seem like an odd day for such reflection.
Today is my eldest son's Birthday.
Today Big D turns 31.
He's not 31 yet, he was born at 12:20pm just in time for lunch which is fitting really as he does and always has loved his food.
I was 17 when I became pregnant with big D. It wasn't something I planned. It wasn't something I had ever considered. I wasn't one of those girls that people would ever have thought would become pregnant at such a young age.
Becoming a mother so early meant that there were many things I didn't do.
I didn't go to University, I didn't even take my A'levels until Big D was at school and I went back to college.
I didn't travel or spend my 20's clubbing with my friends. I didn't have a string of inappropriate relationships or learn to drive a car or even sleep until lunchtime if I felt like it.
I didn't do any of the things that I wish so much for my daughter (well, other than the inappropriate relationships!).
I don't regret a single moment of being Big D's mother.
I wasn't made to be a mother. I wasn't that child who played with dolls, the one who tucked her babies up and pushed them around in a child size pram. I had given no thought to becoming a mother even when I knew it was going to happen I still couldn't conceive how it would feel.
Big D was born 3 weeks early. A tiny 5lb 9 1/2oz baby with a low temperature that meant he was whipped away to spend 6 hours in a specially heated incubator within minutes of his birth.
I didn't have that overwhelming sense of love you hear about when I first saw him. I didn't feel an instant recognition when he was placed in my arms. I did feel an overpowering sense of responsibility.
I knew that it was my job to take care of him. I didn't question it and I never resented it.
Big D was a text book baby. He woke and ate every 4 hours and slept between those times. He was happy and contented, such an easy baby to look after.
For the first couple of months of his life I held him, fed him, changed him, winded him, bathed him. I did all the things he needed me to do for him to survive, for him to be comfortable and I felt very little other than responsible.
There was a moment when all of that change.
When I looked at this tiny human being that I had helped to create and my heart cracked open and so much love poured out that I was totally overwhelmed.
I remember sitting with him in my arms, tears pouring down my face as his little face screwed up with pain from colic wishing that I could take that pain away, that I could bear that pain for him and feeling so damned guilty that I hadn't until that moment realised just how much I loved him.
Nothing has changed since that moment. I've made some terrible mistakes as a parent. I haven't always been the mother Big D deserves. I have regrets, there are things I wish I could go back and change.
There are things I wish I'd done, things I wish I hadn't done, things I wish I'd done differently.
There are things I will always regret.
But I don't ever regret having Big D in my life.
Having him undoubtedly changed the course of my life. There are things I haven't done, places I haven't been people I haven't met ...
None of them matter, none of them could compare to the joy, the love and the sense of rightness that being Big D's mum has given me.
Being his mum is a blessing and a privilege and I love him so much.
Happy Birthday Big D