My greatest regret as a parent

This is my greatest regret. This is my greatest failure as a parent.

Not the big stuff, I mostly got that right enough, or when I got it terribly wrong, there was a way out, around, or to making amends.

The small stuff happens so fast, in a moment it’s over, and you can never make it undone. And then Google Assistant comes around years later and kicks you right in the head with it. It hurts bad.

8 years ago my son set up shop with these pictures for sale. I admired his ingenuity, I loved the pictures and told him so, and I was mildly annoyed at him trying to get me to give him real money. What I didn’t realize is that he was trying to trade something of value for something else of value. I don’t remember whether I bought any of the pictures. I regret not buying all of them. And the signs along with it. And a bonus for trying to make the money instead of just asking me for it, and putting in the work.

When I am in the middle of these small opportunities, I inevitably screw it up, I still do, almost every day, even today at work, when I could pass on a little kindness, and instead, I back away.

Maybe today the Google Assistant has punched me hard enough that it has drummed some awareness into my head. Maybe tomorrow, I will start to see that twinge of annoyance before it turns on me, before I back away, and not let the opportunity slip to make someone else’s day just a little friendlier. That at least is my hope.