But this week's has a photo of a woman in the military holding her baby, and she writes, "I watch my son grow in photographs. And I know when I return he won't know me. And I will never get this time back."
That really hits home. (Not that I'm in the military. The thing that'd drag me away from family would be work.) I can't imagine having any regrets stronger than not spending more time with my kids.
That's for various reasons: Simply enjoying them. Trying to raise them right. (Not that we know what we're doing.) Appreciating the ways in which they develop. So there's some instant gratification in there, and there's some longer term payoff, too.
At least that's how it is now. I've never once thought "I really shouldn't have chosen to spend this time with the family."
Sappy, but true.