As I drove the lengthy, uninspiring, drab stretches of two-lane rural roads to my house this afternoon, a poem popped into my head, as occasionally happens. It's an old poem, one I have not read for years, but one my 11th grade English teacher asked me to memorize. "Someday it will have more meaning," he said, and he was right. It's a poem about choices and their consequences, about straying from the norm proudly and without regret.
And I realized, as I traversed the uneventful prairies and gazed toward the unbroken horizons, it's the perfect poem for stay-at-home dads. Our decision to be home everyday with our children was not necessarily an easy one, and it certainly wasn't a popular one, but we dreamed off into the future, searching for what lay beyond the twists and turns of everyday life, and we took the road less travelled. And, as the poem says, that has made all the difference.
So here is that poem. I'm reciting from memory, and even my young mind has been ravaged by time and the insanity of parenting, so the wording may be faulty. I could look it up, but that would be cheating.
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.
(being uncertain of copyrights and such, I apologize if I've used this poem inappropriately or illegally. let me know and I'll remove it)
This post was originally shared on my at-home parenting blog, The Daily Writer, which has long since vanished. I’ve migrated many of the posts to this site for sentimental reasons.