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The Road Less Traveled

by Robin Rice

Two roads diverged in a wood and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

--Robert Frost

I have been thinking about the road less traveled. Since I first heard those words they have been my ideal. It is not so much because I dislike the beaten path, nor that the unbeaten path holds some great lure. It is because I desperately want to have a life that, in the end at least, "made all the difference."

A life as big and as grand as my personal potential would allow. I did not realize the two roads would diverge at motherhood, although in retrospect it is the most natural place for this to happen to a woman. Yet diverge they did, and choices have been required.

So which is the road less traveled by? Certainly mothering at home is a trodden path if ever there was one. On the other hand, my generation -- the ME generation -- encouraged "having it all," and I am choosing a theme closer to giving it all. 

I think of the old German proverb which asks, "What is the use of running if we are not on the right road?" Indeed, what is the use of choosing the prescribed road, be it greater or lesser traveled, if it takes you somewhere you really did not want to go? Today, I have chosen to be a mother at home. My idea of a big and grand life, not to mention my conception of my personal potential, have changed. Indeed, they have grown. And I no longer need another person -- even as lovely a poet as Robert Frost -- to point me in the direction of what will make all the difference. I instinctively know. Motherhood has given me that, and I will be eternally grateful.

How odd that in giving myself away, I have found myself at last.


Copyright 1992 by Robin Rice. This essay is one of a series of essays by Robin in the Family and Home Network book Discovering Motherhood. Robin's website is "Be Who You Are."

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