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If I Could Do It All Over Again ...

The first month of the New Year will expire this Saturday. There's something magical about January and its ability to make you feel like you can start anew. Makes me think about all the second chances I wish I had, especially as a mother: that sharp comment I'd like to take back, a wiser answer to the important question asked the other day.

Everybody wishes they had done at least one thing differently, but I'm convinced that regrets burn a little deeper for moms because we know what power we hold. What kid hasn't grown up to thank (or blame) her mother for how she turned out? I know there's no sense living in the past, that you can't go back to zero. But before 1/09 runs out, us moms deserve at least one do-over, don't you think?

If I had to do it all over again, I would have …

... not skipped some of those bedtime stories because I was "too tired"

... written more in my journal about the cute-profound things my daughters said or did before I forgot them

... breathed in that baby scent a little deeper before it disappeared

... not wished so hard for my babies to grow up so life would get easier

... not lost my temper over the potty accident in the van on that four-hour road trip in 2004

... kept up with organizing the family photo albums from the start

... refused to let the dentist yank out two of my daughter's baby teeth

... plopped on the floor to play Barbies when my 8-year-old invited me last week

... drilled both kids harder on their multiplication tables last year (and memorized them better myself in 1973)

.. put more sunscreen on the girls this past summer

... not worried so much about dirty little feet

... videotaped my wedding so my kids could get a kick out of seeing mom and dad way back when

... encouraged Grandma to retire closer to us

... smiled at my kids more

... taken that Spanish class more seriously when I was pregnant so I could habla Espanol with my kids

... let my daughter linger in my lap longer at breakfast Sunday

... closed my laptop and played Clue with my kids last night

How 'bout you?