As a long time educator, it hurts my heart to see people agonizing so over mistakes. Mistakes are part of learning - for all parties. You kept saying you were 100% at fault but also that you didn’t understand the depth of the service and never knew those were messages. That’s a learning opportunity for iNaturalist, not just you.
A good friend once told me, shame is never a good motivator. And many people on this forum have said (many times), we don’t know the intent of any user so let’s all assume the best and not the worst. It’s easy to forgive someone who learns and grows. Thanks for the apology and explanation but don’t let shame linger any longer.
So, with that said: I’m glad you’re continuing to use and enjoy the site. You wrote, “not all of my observations are great,”. If you’re worried about the quality, don’t. I post blurry pictures, pictures of sidewalk weeds and common insect pests. I even post pictures of animal holes in the ground, old bird nests, gnawed beaver trees and poop on the path (when I’m quite sure it isn’t domestic dog poop!). Some photos will be unidentifiable but if I get an idea or a suggestion of what it might be, it makes me happy. And all ‘poor’ photos teach me how to get better photos for identifications.
Mostly I’m excited for you because I KNOW how much more fun it will be for you and your family going forward. I have become much more observant of nature… much more knowledgeable of nature… and much more appreciative, protective and even a little worried about nature. That’s the goal of the site and I think you’ve got some fun times ahead of you as you use iNat more and more.