My mother used to say ‘it’s too bad…” to me whenever she thought I had lost an opportunity of some kind. I still get frustrated with my mom because it’s always something that already happened and the outcome cannot be changed. After all, I always reason with her, what is the point of crying about something too late to change?
But today I found myself thinking those terrible sentiments (…it’s too bad…) when a long lost child appeared at my doorstep.
Imagine my surprise when my nephew unexpectedly stopped by after more than two years of not seeing or hearing from him. He lived with us for over 5 years during his tween/teen years. His departure was not pleasant and I’m not exactly proud of all the circumstances that caused his departure.
So today was bittersweet – it was such a joy to see him; all grown up and mature at 19 and a half, in the navy and polite beyond belief with a slight southern drawl. Yet, as he explained his reasoning for joining the navy (no money for college so this was his best plan to get college educated) and that he is fine but doesn’t exactly love it, my heart sank and my homunculus jumped on my shoulder and hammered me with loads of woulda, shoulda, coulda crap.
After he left I was so tempted to say, yup, you guessed it, ‘it’s too bad…’ because of the opportunity lost due to my hastiness years ago as I was desperately trying keep all the pieces of our fragmented family from completely falling apart and simultaneously attempting to keep my career afloat. It was a terribly difficult time and there were no easy solutions. It was my decision alone; my husband would not make the call even though it was written all over his face – after all, it was my nephew not his. It was a horribly painful time but it was my call alone and that is when I broke down and invited DCF to place him somewhere else.
Today my brain was saying things like…But we could have sent him to college…and we could have supported him…and I should have been stronger and hung on longer…and…
But anyone that knew our family then knows that it was the best solution at the time for all of us, including my beautiful, bright nephew, given all the circumstances.
So instead of saying ‘it’s too bad…’ I will remember my little saying:
Every single experience we have experienced before today prepared us for today – including my beautiful nephew, who is turning into an amazing adult because of every single experience he has experienced up to this day.
So, ‘it’s too bad’ can just go suck a lemon.