Doc asks a similar question when her 18 year old starts wondering what he missed in high school, and regrets, perhaps, a certain sense of being carefree and lost that his age-mates are experiencing.
Are there drawbacks to being a responsible and capable 18 year old in our modern society? Are there drawbacks to not having spent 4-10 years of one’s life trying to mark off all the checkboxes instead of being in the real world?
I sometimes wonder if my kids will regret the opportunities that they didn’t have. In a way, there’s no way to avoid that. Whenever we choose a path, there are many paths that we can’t choose. If I think about it, I can come up with a very long list of things that I could regret not doing (or doing). So, the question is not whether we’ll have something we can regret, rather is one kind of regret worse than another kind of regret?
Perhaps, having regrets as a 18-22 year old is part of the process of learning how to let go of childhood, and moving forward. Maybe there’s no way around it.
But I know what I’ll never regret; the time we spent together with the kids, the fact that we lived every day as if it was our last and our first, and creating a lot of good family memories. So, even if we do miss something good, we had so many other good things, I’m OK with my kids having regrets. The past 10 years really couldn’t have been any better. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years, no matter which direction we take.