Family, Life, Menopause, Motherhood

The Day I Ran Away From Home

My husband’s hours are tough. Those closest to me know this.
I am left to do most of the “dirty” work around here, and it’s exhausting.
This year has been hard with my perimenopause symptoms, the headaches, the kids’ schedules, etc.
It has been challenging.

The past few weeks especially.

Homework, issues, and life stuff reaching an all-time high.
Lots of tears, frustration, temper tantrums, and just storms from morning until the lights turn off at the end of the day.
One day, I literally turned my phone off after my youngest got off the bus and my teenager was safely home.

I just needed the world to be shut away.
I couldn’t “adult” anymore.

Two days later, I ran away from home.

To be transparent, I asked my family to run away with me.
It was Memorial Day weekend and when I told my youngest daughter my plans, she said, and I quote, ” Aww, I was thinking we could just relax!”
You know, like she does 363 of the other days out of the year.

Then my oldest daughter suggested that I leave without them.
Wait, what?
Really, I mean are you sure, I mean….OKAY SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN!

Now, I am not one to run away from my problems.
But shit has been too real lately.
Normally, I never get to run away from anything.
But this time, I was given a hall pass.

I threw clothes in a suitcase all while I made sure it was okay with my 15-year-old that she was SURE she wanted to watch my seven-year-old ALL DAY on a Saturday afternoon while my husband was at work.
“Yes Mom, GO!”
I quickly packed, kissed and hugged them goodbye.

Then I left.
As I got to the end of the neighborhood, I had second thoughts.

I stopped the car and sent this text:

text from my teenager

I miss my kids intensely after I leave them.
Is anyone else like that?
They can drive me crazy, then as soon as I leave them, I immediately regret the decision.
I wanted to turn around and take them to Target. Get them a slushy and something from the dollar spot. Spend the rest of the day together.
But then I knew that my oldest also wanted to do this for me and I needed this weekend away too.

UPDATE-as of the publishing of this we have indeed acquired the driving permit. ūüôā¬†
And I have my first gray hairs.

It felt like I was missing something as I got on my way.

It was a strange sensation.
It seemed odd to be in charge of the radio station, the snacks, and my thoughts.
To be honest, it was rather unsettling.

It wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped.
I shoved a mini donut into my mouth, cranked up the Totally 80s, and sped down 294 toward Indiana.

When I arrive in Ohio, I immediately feel like I am back in grade school.

Welcome to Ohio sign

I am transported to the backseat of my parents Volare’ station wagon.

my feet in Lexington Ohio

So here is the real reason I went to Ohio: my soul sister Vikki, one of the two dear friends who came out to save my soul this winter?
Well, her son graduated from college this spring and he was getting ready to move to West Virginia¬†and I was worried I wouldn’t¬†ever get to meet him.

I wanted to meet him before he moved away because this particular weekend was his graduation party/birthday party for his sister, aka my twin.

It was during one of our daily group messages, that it was suggested I should just come out that weekend.
Just go.
I am not a spontaneous person.

I made the decision to go 45 minutes before I left.
And Vikki had no idea I was coming.

So those are my shoes in Vikki’s driveway six hours after I left my house.
I took the picture after I got there, shared it to her Facebook wall and surprise.
It’s good to be “home.”

lanterns in Lexington Ohio

Ohio people sure know how to have fun.
They light a fire to paper and call it lanterns.
These were so cool and it didn’t catch a tree on fire or anything.

bonfire fun in Lexington Ohio

Cheech and Chong.
I haven’t laughed so hard sober in my life.

bonfire in Lexington Ohio

By the way, it’s not called a “bonfire” in Ohio.
It’s called a “fire.”
Sorry, us city folk call it a bonfire.
Although I don’t remember having “fires” when I lived there.
Unless it was an actual FIRE.
Then it was a PROBLEM.

old friends in Bellville Ohio
I got to see my friend Rachel, who I haven’t seen in years.
I met her beautiful family, got to see her gorgeous home, and spend quality time there.
It did so much for my soul on a beautiful Ohio morning, eating donuts, and talking about our lives.

Then I got to spend an entire day and night with my family.
I got to jump on the trampoline, eat grapes on the porch.
I got to watch Paw Patrol with my little cousin and brush her hair.
I got to sit at the kitchen table and eat refrigerator pickles and talk with the family about our lives and catch up.

I got to go to JB’s and pet dogs.

And watch the Cav’s play basketball and eat salami and cheese rolled up together.
These things meant everything to me, I inhaled it all, taking it all in.
Not wanting it to end, knowing it would.
And later, I realized, I got not one single picture.
Because I wasn’t an observer, I was living it and it was delicious.
The next morning, I woke up and sat on the back porch in my jammies with my beautiful family and soaked in the last few hours together.
There was a hummingbird that kept buzzing by and I knew that my grandma was with us that day.
It was so heady that I felt almost drunk with emotion, it feels so dramatic even writing it, but I swear on my life it happened this way.
I will never forget this morning for the rest of my life.
I did think to take this picture:
backyard in Lexington Ohio
Watching the birds eat from the feeder, listening to the morning sounds, smelling their coffee, and talking about our worlds.
 I felt like I could return to my world a better version of myself.
I needed this weekend more than I ever realized.
Then I had to leave.
They sent me off with a lovingly prepared goodie bag for the road and of course, Jones Chips.
I love my family.
So much.
But I wasn’t heading home just yet.
I had a stop to make.
brunch at Betsy's in Ohio
Betsy’s house.
For brunch.
By the way, I could write a whole blog post about Betsy.
If I was a songwriter, I would write her a song.
Like Roxanne, only way less slutty.
Let’s just say that Betsy is my hero.
And leave it at that.
She doesn’t know this but she is in my will now.
I am worth NOTHING but I am giving her my collection of Bruce Hornsby’s Greatest Hits 1985-1987.
It’ll be worth nothing someday.
breakfast at a friend's house in Lexington Ohio
Back to Betsy’s.
She made all of the above.
After an amazing meal, we got to hit the streets of Lexington for the Memorial Day parade.
getting old is hard
That’s me crying.
Because the mayor that was mayor when I was a teenager, is still, mayor.
I couldn’t believe time stood still.
Then I was like, OMG HE LOOKS OLD.
Then I realized, omg he doesn’t recognize me because I look old too.
Lexington Ohio bands
Lexington Ohio parade
That’s it?
10 minutes later.
It was worth the six hours and forty-five-minute drive.
I love my family, my friends, my new friends.
This weekend was soul filling.
I don’t regret a thing.
I do have to say, when my husband sent me a picture of my girls sitting at our parade while I was at a rest stop in Fort Wayne getting gas on the way home, I was heartsick.
I missed out.
I was so glad I went, but maybe not on a holiday weekend next time.
Then I arrived home to my seven-year-old waiting on the sidewalk.
With a note.
notes from daughter
And a teenager who ran out the door to hug me.
It’s good for mom to run away from home sometimes.
But it is really, really good to be home too.

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