There are some things I wish I had known back then.
First and foremost, I would have raised my children in a small town. We started our familiy out in a small town -- Fanwood, NJ -- and I loved it. I could walk the children, one in a coach, two walking slowly, all around, and we could window shop. I could walk to a butcher. The children enjoyed the life as well because it wasn't really much different from what I knew from growing up in Runnemede, NJ.
At Christmas there was the requisite Santa at the town hall, a.k.a. the fire station. This particular town (Fanwood) had a train station and trains went through often on their way to and from New York City. I wish I had known then that the small town was the best place in the whole world to live.
Second, I would have found a SMALL church. We always gravitated toward medium sized churches which were nice. I mean we made friends, but didn't get to know everyone. And the preaching, sorry to say, was generic, with the pastors trying to reach the middle group with touchy-feely sermons, not trying to push the Word of God on the people who listened to him.
In the church in Runnemede, the preacher (my father) didn't mince words about the Bible. It was the text, and if the passage talked about Hell and how awful it was, dad didn't downplay it or term it as allegorical. I should have learned this (known this) from the training I received in Runnemede. Get the picture?
I wish I would have known to tell my mom and dad that I loved them more often. We were not huggers in our house, and I would have hugged them more. I also would have been less selfish as a teenager and helped my mother more around the house.
I guess the item highest on the list of things I wish I had know is that children mimic their parents. And I often said to my mother, "I'm never going to be the kind of mother you are." Or, "I'm never going to do that to my children."
Guess what? I am my mother. I exactly mimicked my mother's mothering style, her cooking style, her cleaning style, her discipline style, etc.
I wish I had know then that I would become my mother. I would have observed her better and more lovingly. Boy, I miss my mom.