On January weekend mornings, when it’s too cold to get the kids outside to play for any real length of time, we all end up cooped up together in the house. More so this year, with COVID cases as bad as ever in Vermont and nowhere indoors to take them to blow off steam (the ECHO Center aquarium is a favorite). By the time, I’ve got my daughter down for her nap, I’m drained — physically, but more so emotionally.

But I choose this. Both in the sense of this state of affairs being the result of many individuals choices I made deliberately, but also in that I will not regret a one. I choose this, in the present tense.

That’s no the only choice. I could also indulge a regret, a regret that imagines an alternative where I don’t have children and am free to spend my weekends however I wish, where weekends are a real break from the work week rather than just a different kind of work. Plenty of people have good lives that way, I’m sure. But in this chaos, I am loved and my kids get to experience joy. I won’t weigh that against alternative lives, because this is the life already under way.

I choose this.