My daughter and I were talking about serious matters last night, about choices we make in life, about the choices I hope she makes.
I've been honest with her about my life as a teenager in the hopes that maybe she won't make some of the same mistakes I made, that she won't live with some of the same regrets.
She told me she doesn't believe in regret. I responded, "That's only because you haven't lived as long as I have."
I went on to say that I think having regrets is healthy. Our regrets are evidence that we made mistakes, that if we could go back and do things over again, we'd do them differently because we've learned important lessons along the way.
She said that she believes in learning lessons from mistakes, but that you shouldn't dwell on the mistakes, that you shouldn't let them consume you and define who you are. In her mind, regret equals wallowing. I realized that in essence, we were on the same page.
Like her mother, she will make mistakes, and she will (hopefully) learn from them. My regret is that I haven't been able to prevent her from making them in the first place.
For another perspective on this theme, visit Billy Coffey's blog entry, The great front yard experiment. I love the way this guy writes.