As I think about your four years with us here on earth, I wonder if I was a good enough mom for you, Daniel. Questions swarm around me: Did I hug you enough? Did I listen to your ideas well? Should I have baked more cookies, read you Curious George another dozen times, laughed with you more? Not insisted you go to bed by eight PM? Bought you a puppy?
The next day when the ring of the truck's bell sounded, you stopped eating dinner, pushed away from the table, and went for the front door, begging us to hurry up. Within a week's time, you were grabbing spare change out of the drawer in the kitchen, waiting for no one. You rushed out to meet the ice cream truck, handed the vendor some pennies, quarters, and dimes and bought a fudgesicle.
What made me sad the other day was recalling how I told you that not every time the truck came to our cul-de-sac were you going to get an ice cream of your choice. Each cone cost $1.50, and was I made of money? Hardly.
Guilt-ridden and wondering, led me to believe that if you were still alive with us, Daniel, oh, I'd do things differently. Yes, no guilt for me. Instead I would have been a better mom. I would have done the following:
* When you didn't want to take a nap, I would have said, "Sure, stay up! Play instead. I'm exhausted because I'm pregnant with your brother, but, hey, let me push you in the swing and then we'll make a six-foot sandcastle in the sand box."
* When you'd said you didn't want to clean the toys off the family room floor, I would have said, "No worries. We'll let your big sister Rachel do that."
Oh, you would have been so spoiled that after your death, no one would have missed you.
I suppose I did all right as your mother.
But I do confess that when that ice cream truck had rolled around the summer you were five (had cancer not been your demise), I wouldn't have said, "None for you today. You had a large Nutty Buddy bar yesterday." Instead, I think I would have said, "Sure. One cone today. But none tomorrow, okay?"
And you would have smiled and I would have smiled, both of us knowing that tomorrow never really comes, does it?
Yeah, I think there would have been nothing wrong with doing that differently.
Oh, how I miss you, son, especially when that ice cream truck rolls around.