03/17/2014 01:11 pm ET Updated May 17, 2014

Struck By Hindsight

I have noticed and appreciated hindsight in my life, but not quite to the degree that I am currently experiencing it. Recently, I'm not only having hindsight, but it's coming up in conversations.

It's made me think about the term hindsight. Hindsight is a part of our story that we did not see the meaning of the first time around. My wonderful father recently said his hindsight is "100 percent."

My family has been going through some challenging times over the past couple of months. I know that all families go through challenging times. Hell, life itself is a challenge. What feels different is that hindsight is coming frequently to me now like a flashback.

Hindsight can, and usually does, help one gain a whole new perspective. I'm presently feeling somewhat anxious and overwhelmed by some of my hindsight. I can see how there have been times in the past I have not been as understanding of others as I should of or could have been. Ouch!

Hindsight makes me want to publicly thank my parents for raising me the way they did. I want to tell them I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to understand how much work it was for them to get me and my two older sisters to adulthood and beyond. That is a concept that I could not grasp until I became a parent myself; and then not fully until the rewards and challenges of parenting presented themselves to me.

I'm very fortunate that both my parents are still alive and well. I find myself knowingly not telling them certain pieces of information on occasion, because they deserve a peaceful retirement. I want to protect them, as I know they've always wanted to protect me. Hindsight has shown me the effects of stress. I don't want to add stress to their time. That's a concern I have, not stressing others with my stress.

I knew from a young age that I had a lot of love to give any child I would be blessed with. With hindsight's help, I've learned what I did not know about parenting. Such as how lovely, concerning, crazy, hilarious and exhausting it can be. I was not previously aware that getting your children to the age of 18 did not mean that you would no longer worry about them like you did when they were younger. NO! It's difficult at best to ever stop worrying about them. The type of worry just changes. There's that hindsight again. When my children were very little I was up at night feeding and nurturing them. Now I'm up at night worrying if they are safe, or in trouble, or doing something that may negatively affect the rest of their life.

I fear that I haven't done all that I might have to teach them how this world can be. I know that I could not have taught them all they needed to know about the world of today, because it's a different place than it was for me growing up, due to technology and population growth. I see my parents looking at my generation and my children's generation, and shaking their proverbial heads. Sometimes I'm shaking my head as well, because hindsight has taught me that being a parent still doesn't mean you have all the answers. Situations are going to arise that you will not be quite sure how to handle. You need to remain open to learning as you go, and to never stop searching for knowledge. You will not always be right. You will be humbled. You will need to say, "I'm sorry." You will feel guilt. You will feel vulnerable. Your heart will be touched in ways you may not be prepared for. Please have mercy on me future hindsight.

Hindsight has helped me see that when I was a teenager and thought my parents didn't understand me, and didn't know what they were talking about, they really did. I'm now struggling with this type of realization with my own children. I do not need hindsight to understand that my kids are wonderful souls. But even really good souls have to learn lessons. And even good enough parents sometimes have to step back and let their kids learn lessons for themselves. That's been hard for me to do. I want to tell them why they shouldn't do something. I still want to protect them from disappointment and pain. But there's no way to prevent kids from doing things in their own unique way. They will experience some hard times, as they too need to learn about hindsight.

Hindsight has confirmed for me that my first love was special even though it ended; that laughter truly is good medicine; that hanging out with my girlfriends is still a blast; that animals are wise and make great friends; that compassion and forgiveness are keys to very special locks; and that I have been a spiritual person ever since I can remember.

In honor of Shelby, Chris and Skylar, I love you more than words can express. I know I'm far from perfect and that I have made mistakes. Hopefully you will understand one day that I have always tried to do my best as your mom, and as a person. You have all had a profound impact on my life. My favorite thing next to hugging you is to laugh out loud with you. You're in my heart for eternity.

Please contact me via email with any comments you would like to share about hindsight.