Oh the irony. To the 3rd power. And the third time’s a charm.
So, obviously the first bit of irony being that I have pined away for a couple of weeks about the moment I could step out without the boys and go do the 15,431 things I’d filed away in my “Things to do when a male or child figure is not pacing and snorting in agony at my side.” And then it happens. The big D finally gets a day off and we have no sports or music event to attend. They go out for burgers and bowling. I head to the bright lights of Vegas! Okay it was the bright lights of my favorite shopping center. Okay it was Barnes and Nobles. And after reading too many jacket covers, sniffing the pages and relishing the crisp wordiness mixed with the fresh ground aroma wafting from the café, and feeling guilty about hardcover prices and setting them back down; what do I buy?
Yup, something for the children. A board game I’ve been reading about that will go great with our summer reading fun. On myself, I splurge on a tall coffee. Black, no room for cream, thank you. And alright maybe one of those hot croissants. A whole $3, give or take. What is my problem? So I sit and read the library book I have shoved in my purse. And then wonder if the people working at the store think I’ve just stolen a book that I have the audacity to now sit in the café and read? Maybe someone will come over and ask me. Hey, then I’ll have someone to talk to. The lady at the table next to me is having a conversation via speaker phone. And the guy with the laptop on her other side is about to toss his latte in her face. So much for peace.
What am I doing anyway? I can read during swim practices. I can read during music lessons. I can hide on the toilet and read at home. So I get up and head to the car determined to get done something I’ve been needing or wanting to do. I get in the car, crank it up, turn on the A/C (cause Texas y’all), and stare out the window.
I’m paralyzed by apathy. I suddenly have no desire or enthusiasm, or need, or want to do anything. So I text my men folk to make sure they’re okay. They’re in the process of spending $30 worth of game tokens on plastic crap at the arcade with their dad. They’re basically in bliss.
So why aren’t I? Freedom is so trying all of the sudden!
The second bit of irony comes when I begin to remember the things we needed. Like summer clothes for myself, socks for the boys, and wall décor for some of the blank walls still glaring at me after the move. And then they don’t feel so “needed” anymore. We don’t really need those things right now. Do we? I look down and assess my outfit and shrug thinking, good ‘nuf. And I’ll just be spending money we should save for a family trip somewhere, or school supplies, or bills.
ACE Bandage and mouth wash!, I remember and almost shout out loud throwing my SUV in reverse. I have purpose, I have a goal. So, I head to the grocery store, buy the bandage for D2’s worsening Achilles tendonitis, the requested Scooby-doo mouth wash for D3, and get ingredients to make my men a new Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe that my friend, Amy at The Hmmmschooling Mom, made look so heavenly. And then I wonder? If she and I lived close by each other instead of being separated by a large portion of the continental US, would I be throwing in the towel and heading home in defeat of my own freedom, or would the two of us find some sort of trouble to stir up. At the very least we could make the pie and eat the whole thing ourselves over coffee and laughter. And maybe she could help me find a reason to move my now apathetic butt. Help me find a shred of me when the family is removed from the equation?
By the way, Amy, I can’t find any rhubarb in Central Texas this week. The pie and I are in a personal limbo.
The third shot of irony occurred the very next day. The Ds all decided they’d go on an evening hike. Yes! I thought, I’ll stay home and get some writing done, or watch a chick flick, take a nap, or go for a peaceful walk. Wait! Hiking?! Cue the psycho mom worries. I kiss them all 3 times and tell them to stay away from edges, but close to their dad. Always stay in his sight, cause weirdos and kidnappers and bears, oh my! And they leave, and I try to write a blog post. HA!
Then Big D calls to tell me the name of the park they are at and the trail they are taking. Wait! What? Why is he calling to tell me this? I mean, I get that it’s a good idea to let someone know, but he’s never done this before. So I’m all jittery and imagining search parties and my own shaking, snot-sobbing voice on the news rehashing what he said when all was sunny and happy hours before they didn’t return from their cliff diving expedition!!!
So much for peace and relaxation. A glass of wine and a nervous sweaty walk around town later, I’m dangling my toes in the creak trying to catch a bass with my too long second toe, when I get a call on my cell. The cell I’ve been clutching in my sweaty palm since they left 3 hours ago.
“Where are you?,” says my husband.
“Down at the creek just sitting.” Oh I’m the one that’s lost! Just get to the point and tell me your closest largest landmark the helicopters can see from the air!
“Well, we’re up here at the house getting showers. Just letting you know.” Click.
I didn’t catch that fish. And I didn’t write a blog post, or take a nap, or watch a movie. I didn’t have to call out the park ranger or tracking dogs either. So there’s that. But now that they are all home safe and sound, I could really use some peace to get this all written down.
Isn’t it ironic?