April 9, 2009

Take the path less traveled

We are walking out of the neighborhood pool and the path leading us away curves in an “S” with grass surrounding the path.  Our destination can be seen in front of us but the path veers back and forth towards that destination.  Swee’Pea, rather than follow the path, starts to cut a straight path of her own over the grass.

Instinctively I say, “Swee’Pea, stay on the path, please.”

Swee’Pea, looks up at me and asks a very reasonable question. “Why, Daddy?  Why do I have to stay on the path?”

And it made me think.

Why should she stay on the path?  Why shouldn’t she blaze her own trail?  And I thought again about my own life and all the paths I have taken over my lifetime.  And while I don’t regret much in my life, I feel there have been times when I played it safe.  I took the path that everyone else was taking because it was easier or it was expected.  And I do wonder what my life would have been like if I had just had the nerve to blaze my own trail.

So, I turned to Swee’Pea and said, “You don’t have to follow the path, Swee’Pea.  You can go any way you want to.”

And with that, she took off across the grass, never looking back.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, 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

…Robert Frost


  1. Usually, Tad takes the path less traveled. It always seems to be the one with mud puddles in it.

    Comment by Deanna — April 9, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

  2. Having kids definitely makes you think about the supposed “rules” of life, eh? Now what did the Monk decide to do? Take the path or blaze his own trail?

    Comment by Grace — April 10, 2009 @ 7:02 am

  3. I have to admit, that’s one of my favorite poems! Good job on resisting the urge to keep her on the path—that’s a tough thing for a parent to do.

    Praying all is well!

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Comment by MamáChanga — April 10, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  4. I love this poem. I’m glad that you’re encouraging it’s spirit within your children =) What a sweet memory for both of you.

    Comment by Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com — April 10, 2009 @ 11:40 am

  5. That’s always been a favorite poem of mine, not only because it’s beautiful but because it conveys a message that we all should heed. Thanks for the reminder that we all need to get off the beaten path…at least once in a while!

    Comment by Susan Heim — April 10, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

  6. One of my classmates gave me this framed poem for a class assignment, my senior year in English class because he thought I exemplified these characteristics…

    Comment by Andrea — April 11, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  7. Two words for having her stay on the path.

    Grass stains.

    Comment by above average joe — April 13, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  8. Conformity is overrated.

    Comment by SciFi Dad — April 16, 2009 @ 5:20 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Enter this word:

(Hear it spoken)