Books of my childhood…regrets, nostalgia, and paths not taken

I wrote about nostalgia a few days ago…then had another bout of it this weekend.
There was some regret woven in there, too, and that makes it harder to move past it.
It reminded me, again, that the path I am on may not be (well, is not) the path that I thought I’d be on.

I don’t know if I’ve written about the fact that I do not have children.

I don’t. It was a hard choice, but one that we came to after trying for a long time, attempting some relatively noninvasive interventions, and deciding that we did not want to go further down that road. So we veered off. I took another path, one that I rarely regret.

But this weekend, I felt a pang of nostalgia and a tinge of regret, at a library book sale, of all places. I was digging through the children’s books, always on the lookout for books of my childhood, old favorites that I’d love to add (back) to my shelves. So many books I remembered, so many covers that immediately looked like old friends. And I wished that I had a child with whom I could share those books, that passion for falling into another world, going through the doors that books open wide.

I know this would have been my role in parenting – to say my spouse is not a reader is the understatement of the year (he didn’t know about Mrs. Piggle Wiggle!!?!? How is that even possible?). One that I would have embraced wholeheartedly.

One that I was not able to take on.

I felt the pang of regret, the nostalgic longing for the relative simplicity of childhood, the momentary second-guessing of the path I chose over 10 years ago.

And then I returned to my quiet apartment, to an afternoon of reading a bunch of different books (I can’t be reading just one at any time…) and was reminded that the path I’m on now is a pretty good one. 

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