I once heard that mistakes were what made the world go round.
I don’t I was one; at least I don’t recall my mother telling me that I was.
It wasn’t until I became a father that I began to understand and appreciate what I had.
There were moments, usually at 2am on a work night when walking the floor that I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I could certainly say that none of my children were mistakes, as such. Rather when asked why I had so many my cheeky response was to say, “Well they just kept turning up and I didn’t have the heart to turn them away.”
I would say there were times when I was upset that some came too close to the previous one. That was definitely a challenge. I felt I’d just sorted out number 2 when number three burst into the world and it felt like I was starting all over again. Initially that was frustrating and I recall a feeling of resentment about the arrival of a third child as we drove to the hospital to give birth.
But as with every baby, suddenly there is a tiny living person in your arms, and you look down to see her looking into you eyes and instantly you fall in love with her. It was like she sensed that I was apprehensive about her birth and was assuring me that everything was going to be ok.
As it turned out, compared to her older brother, she was a dream of a child.
I would never use the word mistake in reference to my children, ‘inconvenience’ was more my call. Only because each child put a strain on our financial situation. Basically we were permanently poor, and when we did buy a house, big enough to house them, we lived with a mortgage that seemed to increase rather than decrease.
Then as a parent I made more than my fair share of mistakes. In my day, like with most new parents, I thought I knew everything. There were no books to read on parenting, our role models were our parents and they made mistakes with us. We plodded along, reacting more often than not.
Later when they became teenagers and developed intelligence far out reaching my own, so they thought, they made mistakes, and hopefully learnt from those mistakes.
Somehow or other, despite all the mistakes, so clearly seen in hindsight, we have all turned into reasonable people, we still talk with each other, our past mistakes forgotten, forgiven or put down as ‘He didn’t know any better.”