Sometimes a person just needs to turn his back, avert her eyes, throw caution out the window, and just jump in the car and rip out of the yard with tires squealing. Forget the acres of grain still, God help us, lying in swaths that are now under water. Forget the flowerbed prep that never happened. Likewise the grass springing up before our very eyes or the weeds going to seed. Forget the unidentifiable fuzz growing in the fridge or the dust bunny orgy under the furniture. Postpone tackling your home-based business to-do list because working evenings and weekends isn’t good for the soul.
If you can manage to all that guilt-free, you can spend some quality time with your family. Go to a ball tournament in Sherwood Park and see your seven-year-old grandson bring in two runs, be called out when a fly ball is caught, make that metal bat pay when he connects. Feel bad when he makes an error or gets shale burn on his palms. Be shocked at how tall he’s has grown, how athletic he is. Learn he’s off to a couple of golf tournaments in Denver at month end even though he loves hockey best, golf second, ball third. Bring him two-foot long Nibs licorice as a treat after “real food.”
Go back to the house and get tackled and hugged to pieces. Discover that Kade’s high chair is no more and he eats (or not) at the big table. That he still has a favourite place to plant himself in the living room as he fills his diaper but that peeing in the potty now happens routinely. Notice that his vocabulary is growing but realize closed captioning would come in handy when no one understands a thing he says. Oh my Dod, he’s funny except when he says, “No way, Jose” in that oppositional way unique to two-year olds.
Find out that Carrie’s gall bladder operation incisions are healing quite well. That Greg now has a work visa and was in Texas for a week building the customer base. That the junket to Denver will be a road trip?are we there yet? And that to save the sanity of the parents, they’re willing to let the boys minds turn to mush?courtesy the WiFi in the Denali truck. Two days of video games and movies, anyone?
We hear that the landscaping of the acreage continues and that the zero-turn John Deere mower will be traded in for one Grady can operate. That Grady’s August birthday will involve a climbing wall and that fancy fidget spinner moves are harder than they look.
Nothing we could have done at home today comes close to what we saw, felt, heard, and learned by leaving home and “scheduling” this visit. Another reminder that time marches on, that memories don’t happen accidentally, and that relationships are only as good as the effort they receive. Running away from home may be the best decision you can make, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.