And then along comes Isabelle, and in an instant, effortlessly lays inspiration at my feet. In her recent post "Walking Away," she mentioned Anne Tyler's book "Ladder of Years" in which Delia, the main character, while on holiday with her family, goes for a walk on the beach---and doesn't come back----simply keeps walking!
Isabelle's remark, at lunch with friends, that any woman who is married and has children has probably had the urge, at one time or another, to simply go for a walk---and never come back met with raised eyebrows and demurring. Really? Unless they have already been canonized and have a firm grip on their halos, I'd dare to say they are lying to themselves. I probably lie to myself as much as anyone but I'd be the first to admit I entertained fantasies of running away when I was in the throes of raising children.
It all came to a head one snowy day in Montana. It was freezing and frosty outside. The children had just spilled in the door from school; the dogs, seeing the door open for a moment, had darted in too. Bedlam ensued, dogs dancing on icy toes, barking and jumping excitedly, kids divesting themselves of snow-encrusted boots, backpacks, and heavy jackets all over the kitchen floor. And the baby howling. Where was the Mommy, delighted to welcome her children home and offer them hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies? Missing in action. And in her place an overwhelmed monster who suddenly roared.....
"Out! All of you! Out of my kitchen!"
I wasn't much of a roarer, so that got their attention and they left quietly, dogs in tow, leaving me alone in the middle of the kitchen, distraught. Writing it down has always been my therapy. I grabbed a notebook and pen and sat down, not on a chair, but in the middle of the floor and scribbled feverishly...
This is a little bit of cheating since it was originally written more than a quarter century ago! But hey, a post is a post, and it was prompted by that post of Isabelle's. At the time I never expected to get out of child rearing alive, but here I am, older, wiser, but still kicking.
I bet there are more running away stories out there. Come on, 'fess up!