Leading a family life, with a dog and two cats to boot, can be overwhelming. The demands on my time are endless: cooking, shopping, clean-up, laundry, bills, homework help, driving to marching band, baseball, voice lessons, football, playdates, Scouts, yard work - it's not an original list, by any means. But, on any given day I can get lost in responsibility.
Last Saturday I had an idea. I thought, "What if I just let everything go and take off?" It's not as if the children will die from starvation or the house will burn down! Feeling giddy that's exactly what I did, entreating my husband to join me.
We rooted a couple of helmets out of storage and hopped on his motorcycle. In our part of the world, it doesn't take long to get out in the countryside. Before long we were riding on back roads, surrounded by cornfields, alfalfa fields, apple orchards, dairy farms - we even discovered a buffalo farm. Sweet-smelling air, the wind at our backs, me holding onto his middle like a teenager in love; it was just the two of us - not talking, resolving problems, or seeking a destination. A spree it was, and we found ourselves completely surrendered to the moment.
About an hour later, thighs chaffed and stiff, we headed for home. And when we got there, everything was just as before: messes waiting to be cleaned up, bills to be paid strewn on the kitchen table, hungry children waiting for supper, the telephone ringing.
But, something had changed. Everything looked the same, but felt different. We'd given ourselves a gift: some breathing room, a refueling of weary spirits, a delicious slice of freedom. Transformed from our time away we felt younger, refreshed, sporting a spring in our step. I need to remember to do that more often.