I am a single mother and I have to travel a lot for work. It is an important face so that you don’t think I am a monster. When my son was younger he begged for a dog. I always said no, the reasons were endless. I will be the one cleaning up after him. I will be the one feeding him. Dogs smell. Dogs make the house dirty. Dogs need so much care. I travel too much. I am not a pet person. Blah, blah, blah.
We all need unconditional love.
I made a deal with him that if he did 40 hours of volunteering at the animal shelter I would get him a dog. He never finished the volunteer hours and I never got him a dog.
My son is about to turn 18 and I really regret not getting him a dog. He needed a dog. So what if I was the one to feed him, so what if they are messy, so what if I would have been the one doing most of the care.
If I had gotten my son a dog, he would have had a being that loved him unconditionally. We all need unconditional love.
The story you tell is poignant and I can almost taste your regret. But parents have to know their limits and I think you did a good job knowing yours. If you had gotten your son a dog, and then had to care for him, you might have resented your son for it. And it is far more important that a son knows that his mother loves him than that his dog does. Thanks for sharing your story on Retrospect.
My two sons are now adults, so I think I can say this with some authority/experience. If the biggest regret you have in raising him is that he didn’t get a dog? High five and big congratulations to you!! I bet that is one responsible, disciplined, and delightful son you have there, and he knows he has your love.