When I write on my blog, I get to the end of a post and I see the list of similar posts I’ve written in the past. Lately, I’ve been clicking the links and reading stories that I wrote about seasons of our life I can barely remember. I’m amazed that during the last 11 years, I’ve actually managed to keep this chronicle of our life story.
When I don’t write for a while, it’s never because I’m lacking for words. It’s usually because I run out of time. But I also worry about sharing too much, embarrassing my teenagers or what people might think about me.
A few days ago, I read an old post about a day a few years ago that was just an ordinary fall day. But it turned out to be remarkable because I agreed to set aside all of the housecleaning duties and work assignments that were weighing me down, and just sit outside with our youngest daughter soaking in the beauty of the season.
My own blog post actually inspired me to do something similar on Monday.
On Sunday night, our 8-year-old went to bed complaining of a sore throat and stuffed up head. Monday morning, I didn’t try to wake her up when she didn’t get up at her usual time. At 8 a.m., she woke up in a panic that she was late (even though we had 30 minutes before we had to leave for school). She wouldn’t stop crying. She complained that she was exhausted. She said her throat hurt, and her nose was stuffed up.
I decided to keep her home from school. She laid in bed all morning while I worked from home. Around Noon, I had crossed almost everything off my to-do list, and the third grader popped out of bed, finally ready to start her day.
“Let’s run away!” I told her.
It was a perfect fall day. The sky was clear blue. The leaves were at the peak of their fall color. It was warm, but the air was crisp. While I know it’s common to think the cool air can contribute to illness, I lean more toward the belief that fresh air is the best medicine.
I was in a state that I can only describe as “twitchy.” This is when I have so many things on my mind that I need to do that I can’t seem to do any of them. I’ve realized that when I hit this point, it’s best to just walk away from my computer and go outside.
We both packed a lunch and headed to the car.
I decided we would drive about an hour south to one of my favorite places, Matthiessen State Park. It’s a huge rock canyon that is a fairly easy hike. I knew it would be gorgeous with all of the fall colors.
It felt impossible that we could really run away. I’ve spent so many years juggling the schedules of the six of us. I’ve spent so many afternoons driving for hours to get everyone where they need to be.
Suddenly, the other three kids are all self sufficient. Two of them can drive, so if anyone needed a ride, someone could get them there.
I didn’t have to be back in time for school pick-up since my daughter wasn’t at school. She wasn’t begging for a playdate with a friend since this was basically a “bonus day” away from school. When we homeschooled, I took every opportunity to get the kids in nature on days like this. I figured that our youngest should get a day away at least once a year.
We both loved our little adventure. We’ve done this hike many times, but this was the first time she could make it across the stones in the water without anyone’s help.
She found a tree that was the perfect width to spin around on. It wouldn’t have even entered my mind to spin around a tree if she wasn’t with me!
The colorful leaves and still water felt like a gift.
I loved every minute of our time together.
The fresh air cleared her head. And it cleared my mind.
When we returned home at dinner time, no one even seemed to notice we had been gone.
And I felt super blessed to have my little partner in crime to join me as we ditched our duties for the afternoon and ran away together. It was definitely a day I want to remember.
How about you? When is the last time you ran away?