I have a dear friend who likes the song Runaway. The fun part of that is that said friend has no idea how often I really have done so and would like to run away. I love road trips. When stress pushes me in too hard from all sides, I used to and still want to move forward, to a new place with new faces that I don’t know are meanies or judges or alarmists or liars yet. Somewhere new and fresh and start over. Not that I am a coward or not brave but that I value life and freedom more than accepting less than what that should be. I have run many many times, sometimes in the guise of work, sometimes temporarily on road trips or vacations, other times much more blatant, but never once since having my children. Kids have a way of grounding you. You face things for your kids that you will not ever face for anyone or anything else in the world. You stay. You don’t run away. For them, you fight battles and adult up and handle business. For their benefit and stability and roots, you ground in, dig deep, take all the mud flown at you, accept the attacks, wrestle deep. For them, you postpone even other loves, even really really strong ones that hold you deep in. You put them on hold for an unspecified amount of time so these precious angels in your care can grow to believe the world is safe and ideals are important and they are important and well looked after. Before children, my view was significantly easier to traverse, much quicker and easier to maintain, my needs easier to meet. After children, my needs are the last thing on my list of goals. Someday, I may run again. I will remain close to my children as they need me. Maybe one day my priorities will change and my needs will resurface when they need me less. Maybe. The road beckons me, calls me to journey, pushes me on, whispers sweet temptations into my ear so softly with the breeze. My curiosity awakens within me a desire to know what is around the next corner, over the next hill, through those woods,  in that water, up that tree. It is the mind of me, the heart of who I am, a traveler going through this journey of life at breakneck speeds, suddenly slowed by the detour of children, a beautiful detour to enjoy along the way, taking you down unplanned but amazing new worlds you had not considered. The wonder of their minds and hearts comes alongside your own and the journey adds passengers. You meet people, face triumphs together, face pain together, work through things, an application of advice given now acting out yourself. Live becomes this reason to stay and not run. Mostly. But some amount of running is necessary to maintain serenity. Too much life in one space limits the will and traps the mind. Sometimes, being a little, albeit temporary runaway is the healthiest thing on earth. My friend has great taste in music. 🙂

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