Today was a good day.
Homeschool was finished early today and we packed up a lunch, my kids and I, and went outside for our first picnic of the year. The sun was warm and out came the shorts and summer dresses.
The best surprise of all, curled up in a little ball, was a new litter of baby kittens born fresh this morning! And so began my thoughts for this blog post.
I am happy here, with this little life I’ve chosen…yet in some ways, not chosen. I am blessed here among my littles, at home. Yet the paths that got me to where I’ve come today were by no means easy to choose. And the paths I didn’t choose, were oh so difficult to follow, but they have brought me to this very moment. Here. Today. Right now.
And I’m reminded of the most beautiful of poems, a favorite of mine since childhood, written by Robert Frost. Read it slowly, it is so true…you can almost feel the paths he describes:
The Road Not Taken
By: Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
This has simply felt like my whole life.
After all, not many teens get pregnant (although its becoming somewhat more common), decide to keep their baby, and get married at 18. Not many decide to buy an old trailer instead of rent a newer place. Not many mothers choose to stay home, although I felt like my hand was forced in that decision when my firstborn was hospitalized for six months as a baby. Not many chose to go without birth control. Not many choose to homeschool…It seems with each step I’ve made, I go further and further into a series of forks in a road, without really knowing where this road will take me. It doesn’t mean I’ve always chosen the “better” paths. Sometimes my choices have reflected a strong sense of “right” and “wrong”, but sometimes I’m just very simply curious: Where will this path lead me? Sometimes I’ve chosen the wrong path.
Yet once I choose it I can’t go back. But if it turned out to be the wrong choice, I have learnt an important lesson and gained wisdom for the next fork in the road.
Homeschooling was one of those forks in the road for me and it has taken me and my children to where we are now. Was it the “right” choice? I don’t know! Was it the “better” choice? I couldn’t honestly say!
But I don’t regret it. Not for a second!
It was one of those choices that knit me and my children strongly together. A choice that daily forced me to lay down my lists and my desires for the day, and to move at a slower pace. It forced me to work through some of those personality clashes instead of bearing with them until I could send my children off to school. It forced me to multitask. It forced me to do errands with my large crew during school hours and get asked questions. Awkward questions. It shaped my friend groups, and caused other friendships to slowly fade away. It forced me to stop and notice my children, which I may not have done otherwise. Or maybe I would have!
But that’s the thing, I’ll never quite know!
And sometimes I wish I could re-live these past 10 years, making different choices, just to see how different life would be if I had chosen this path, or that one…but when it’s all said and done, I’m happy here. I’m at peace. I’ve done my best.
In the captivating words of Robert Frost: I’ve taken the road less travelled by. I like to think that it has made all the difference.