“Uh-no,” was my 39 year old sister’s succinct reply.
“How can you not be? You can go anywhere!” said the fifteen year old with such zeal.
“And I want to go nowhere,” answered my sister.
I wasn’t there for the exchange, but that’s how my sister relayed it. We laughed as we recalled the pre-driving age excitement of our earlier years. Heck, I can still remember the way it felt so very long ago.
Sadly, driving is a bit of a chore now. My vehicle is the means by which I take myself to places I have no interest in going to: the OBGYN, the grocery store, the dental office, and to my son’s Jiu-Jitsu lessons.
If only I could get the thrill of driving back! But, how could I get back there? Maybe if I played the right tunes, I could get there. Maybe if I wore the right outfit? Maybe if I went somewhere just because I wanted to and not because I had to, I could feel that excitement again.
Perhaps the weight of responsibilities, deadlines, and commitments are the extra passengers in what used to be my joyrides.
These days, escape means not leaving my home. True freedom would be the ability to turn on the television, sit on the couch, and not do anything else. I would not worry about the trash, the laundry, dinner, homeschooling, or shower time, either. However, that is not where I’m at, or “when” I’m at, as I (with the help of my husband) made another person. This person needs a nest right now, so I have to cool my heels for a bit.
But the fantasies are taking root, again. If I had nothing to worry about and could go anywhere, I’d pull my son out of his Jiu-Jitsu class and we’d head home, where I’d collect my makeup, my clothing, and my husband.
“Where are we going?” they’d ask.
“We are getting away!” I’d answer.
I’d hoot and cheer. I’d remove the top of my Jeep and would blast Bob Seger from my speakers. We’d hit 7/11 and would drive - not to the beach (I married a fair-skinned man), but to the mountains. We’d walk, hike, run, and laugh. We’d take lots of pictures. Only when our bodies were tired and our brains were full of ideas for our next adventures would we head home.
But that’s not my reality. I have to keep my sore butt seated where it currently is - on the bleachers of my son’s Jiu-Jitsu class, where it will remain for the next 30 minutes. I’ve made a commitment to him, and he wants to be here, so here I am.
But maybe 7 or 8 years from now, I’ll be able to say no to Jiu-Jitsu. Maybe I’ll tell my husband and son to do their own laundry and make their own dinners. I’ll sit on the couch to read for a while, or maybe write, nap, or just watch TV.
Maybe then, my son will start thinking about his own escape. Maybe it will be the gym, the hills, the beach, or maybe to a girl’s house. I’ll cry when he gets his own set of wheels, though I will try not to. I don’t want him to worry about his mom when he should be thinking up his own dreams.
Maybe then, escape might not be as fun, as I won’t have anything to run from. Still, I’ll know how to get to the beach, the mountains, and to 7/11. Maybe there, I’ll find the part of me who knew how to escape.