Sometimes, I need to run away.
Just take a deep breath and escape.
I dream of quiet. Total complete peace. A warm, sandy beach. A gentle breeze. Brown sugar sand between my toes. The smell of fresh, tropical flowers. The soft sounds of the ocean and birds singing in the distance. No television. No toy sirens. No children’s music blasting from a cheap toy. No screaming.
I dream of walking on that beach, watching the waves alone. Not worrying about a child running into the ocean water, getting sand in his eyes or a sunburn. No worries about routine or schedules, therapy or meltdowns.
I dream of an uninterrupted phone call in a posh hotel suite where I can hear the caller and respond in kind with no distraction, no talking over me or screaming underfoot. Of a long conversation with a good friend about her day, or her dreams, or mine. Of a call when I do not have to say trouble is brewing and I must hang up. Of time on my computer, uninterrupted. Time when I do not have to relinquish my position for a video game of basketball.
I imagine a sweet, tropical drink and a spritz of water on my face, as I lay on a lounge chair next to the ocean and stare up into a blue sky, until I fall asleep in the warmth of the sun. No sippy cups knocked over and spilled. No pleas for candy and ice cream. No scathed nerves, refereeing a child knocking over the chairs next to me or wandering away.
I dream of a dinner, seated at a table in an obscenely, extravagant restaurant next to the water. Of dim lighting and a candle on the table covered with a white tablecloth. Of ordering gourmet food from a menu of exotic choices and leisurely sipping wine. Having adult conversation and relaxing. Buttering warm slices of fresh bread, calmly waiting for my entree. No worries of how much battery life is left on an iPhone to keep the native from becoming restless. No worries of bagging up food and making a run for it to avoid the dirty looks of my fellow restaurant patrons. No worries of my child melting down before the appetizer arrives, or emptying the salt and pepper onto the table while knocking the silverware and water onto the floor.
I dream of a day spent shopping for me, looking at art and books, jewelry and clothes. Trying on shoes and makeup and being pleased with the person looking back at me in the mirror. No tired eyes, dry wild hair, or old clothes, wondering how I had aged. No shopping for toys or riding escalators and buying that one item that will prevent a full-blown meltdown in the midst of a crowd.
I dream of the luxury of reading a book from cover to cover, engrossing myself so completely that I become one with the characters and their dramas come to life in my mind. No drama of my own. No hands filled with paint or goo to grab the pages of the book away from me.
I dream of taking out my old telescope and pointing it at the stars on that beach. Finding Saturn again and viewing its rings with my own eye through the telescope like no photo can do. No child grabbing the lens and moving it away from the object of my desire. No one to take it out of focus.
I dream of sleeping fully over one half of my bed, without a crawling boy who pushes his way under the covers and against my back, forcing me into a tiny corner of the bed, flinging his arm in my face in the middle of the night.
But dreams are just that. All little wishes of escaping the pooped pants, the laundry, the screaming and tripping over toys, the chatter, the messes, the worries the scares and the loudness. When I really think about it, that kind of life is one of absence. For me, it would be lonely, empty, void, and shallow.
Those characteristics that grate on my last nerves, like fingers on a chalkboard, are all a part of love to me. The love of a little boy whose tiny hand reaches out to grasp mine, to share sirens and screaming cries and hunger and thirst. A little boy who depends on me to help him navigate a world which is scary and unknown, exciting and an overload to his tiny little system. A tiny little voice that says, “I love you, mommy!” in repetition now 25 times a day.
I would not trade even one grasp of that tiny little hand in mine. Not one of the “I love yous” for all the perfect beaches and dinners in the world. I simply would not do it. Not in a million years.
But sometimes, it’s still nice to run away in a dream.