why in the world would i wanna leave this?
well, actually i don’t. don’t wanna leave, that is. given my eenie-meenie-minie-moe, i’d stay put from now till forever.
i am, hands down, the original homebody. give me a week at home with nothing to do but pull weeds, turn pages, putz around in the kitchen. give me my ol’ comfy pillow, the stairs with the creaks i know by heart. give me the washer, even, the one i know how to set just so, so it doesn’t wiggle and clang like some sort of jalopy on an old bumpy road.
oh, lord, just the thought of it all. the peace and the quiet. the hours and hours to tackle this ol’ house and the interminable infinite to-do list. i tingle at the thought.
but it’s a thought, an enticement, that will have to keep dangling in front of me, for it’s not mine now. not any time in the near or the distant future even. it’s only a wish, pure and simple.
dispatch the boys. stay home alone.
grab the smelling salts, i feel a faint coming on.
oh, well. not this time around…
for now, i am considering packing. will toss the minimum amount of clothes in a bag. grab a few boxes of cereal off the shelf, and head up to where the air is even clearer and the ol’ lake will lull me to sleep for the next few nights.
it’s the house on the lake i grew up mucking about most summers. swam across the lake once. got a sailboat stuck in the muck at the bottom, one other time. gorged on my aunt nancy’s cherry cobbler. played spoons with all of my cousins, and my grandma lucille, who showed her fierce side when the spoons and the cards came out.
’bout five times a day, we managed to walk to the little general store, the one with the screen door that slapped shut behind you, nipped at your heels if you didn’t hurry. pulled out our nickels and pennies, got some sort of five-and-dime summertime treat. went out in the middle of the lake before dawn, a bucket of minnows and the sunrise, all the company i ever needed.
that was back before i had a house, turned into someone’s mama. that was back when all i had to do was endure the back of the station wagon with four brothers and a headache from the sun shining in. back then, it was pure heaven. now, i’m working hard to convince myself the long drive will be worth it.
oh, it’ll be fine, and the boys all want to go. desperately want to go. to get one last gulp of summer before the school bell rings, and i am left home alone, at last. to while away the days. getting things done. but not the things i’d do if i had a whole week.
and not the things i’ll do this coming week.
that’s how it is sometimes when you’re the mama. you do not what you want. but what everyone else really really wants. you wrap your toothbrush, and toss in your old bathing suit, the one you’ve not worn once all summer long.
you lock up the house, wave goodbye to the garden. kiss the cat on the nose. remind him to be good while you’re gone.
you turn and you whisper a prayer. tell the house, the garden, the cat, you’ll be right back. stay put, stay just as you are, and i’ll be right back to fuss over you, make you feel like you’re the one place in the world i always want to be.
which, as i pack up to leave, is the truest truth i can think of.
see you next week. goin’ north to collect a l’il bit of summer vacation. anyone else out there wish like anything for a whole stretch of days, unencumbered in every which way? anyone else know what it is to want to stay home, and call that the best vacation ever?