For the second time since I've been married, 22 years ago, I ran away all by myself and had a good time.
Let me take a minute out here to say that this year, after celebrating our 22nd anniversary last month, we officially have been married longer than we'd been single. I love this so hard. And am greatly looking forward to being married to this man for the rest of my life.
And also let me qualify that whole running away statement. The first time I ran away, I took our only child and was pregnant with the second, so it wasn't actually by myself. And by "running away" I mean that I went on a trip without Sam (or any other adult, for that matter) and had a small vacation all to myself. (Or with 1.5 children. Whatever.)
Last week, just 2 days after returning home from a fabulous vacation involving the whole family, I drove to Michigan to visit a now-real online friend. Funny how many friends the internet creates that one rarely has the chance to meet. I liken it to pen pals of my parents' day, only in mass form. It's a good thing all around, really, and even better when your imaginary online friends become real. Also fun is a rental car that drives like a dream and the open roads with blaring radio. It was halfway through Ohio that I realized that I'd never taken a road trip by myself. I've always taken a kid or three along wherever I've gone, or at the very least a dog. (King Louie and his harem were at home last week, without me. They were none too happy about that situation.)
While spending a few days at my friend's house, I realized just how much chaos I truly live in. Mind you, this friend has two active children who are very sociable and love entertaining guests. They were such a joy to be around. And yet the house was like a spa retreat in comparison to what I live in. I love my family. Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. But I realized that I need to get away from the people that I love far more often than once every 11 years, on average. Micah alone is loud and needy. The loud is only something that you can experience, it can't sufficiently be explained. He's a tornado of noise, swirling around the entire house at once. It's exhausting just listening to him. And that doesn't even include the other 4 kids living here. Just by being away from this for a few days, my sanity has been restored, and I feel refreshed.
As a bonus, I detoured to a fabric shop in Cleveland on the way home. I wish this particular fabric shop was much closer home because it was one of the most fun places I've been to in a long time. Even better were the owners, who were also online friends. The owner of the store has a daughter with Down syndrome, and she helps in the store every day. Sara was ironing as I walked in, actually. This makes me so happy in so many ways, and if I lived closer this would be a daily stop for me any time I'd be near.
All in all, last week was exactly what I needed. Home is where the heart is, but sometimes one needs to step away from what you love to fully appreciate it.
Now someone needs to tell that to King Louie and the harem, who were so relieved to see me that they haven't let me out of their sight yet, and didn't even protest when I declared it bath day.