Each step we take onto the path before us is different from anyone before or after us. This road is not constant. It shifts and breathes, opens cracks for some, potholes for others. It breaks into thousands of side paths that twist and merge and rejoin the main road as they please. No two of us walk it the same way. Some of us take long confident strides, others take tentative baby steps. Even if I were to step in the print of another, my foot would not fit exactly.
Look back along the tracks you have made. They are unique and distinct. This is what we are trying to teach our children. We each leave our own personal mark on the road. It cannot compare to another. I have three children with three separate methods for learning. Marina walks closest to me, but sometimes gets distracted by the flowers or a small animal and falls behind. She loves the details. I had to pick my way through brambles as I realized Chase would never be as open as Marina to reading or doing everything I suggested. He prefers to run in the brush along my path. I stumbled along my own path as I figured out that Sierra would learn by her own design and no other. She prefers to climb the rocks and sometimes hides behind the trees so she can jump out and surprise me. If I accept that they cannot compare to each other, how can I even consider comparing them to others who have chosen the more traditional, well-trodden route?
My path hasn't simply had potholes, it has had cliffs to climb and raging rivers to ford. My clothes have been muddied and torn from the effort of being a non-conformist. I've waded in the water and tried to stand in the current as I've watched others simply cross a bridge. If someone were to look over at me from that bridge, they might not understand the effort I put myself through. After all, there is an easier way.
And my answer would be that in spite of the difficulties, I'm having too much fun to give it up.