I just had to opportunity to get out of the house, by myself. Husband was home resting, daughter was home sleeping, and while I was exhausted and freedom wanting nothing more to do than sleep, I grabbed my purse and ran. All I did was drive to Office Depot to ship out a box, but as I drove away from our house I thought to myself, “freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!”. Let me tell you, it was glorious. Absolutely, positively, tremendously, glorious. The trip itself took less than 15 minutes, but it was exhilarating, freeing and gave me a little pep in my ‘I haven’t gotten a good night’s rest in over 7 months’ step.

While I was in Office Depot, I saw a woman enter with a little girl (could have been her mom, maybe grandma), about 6 years old. I didn’t pay them much attention and went back to browsing the tablets and lap top computers, comparing prices and reading descriptions, having no idea what any of it meant, but trying to draw out my little trip as long as I could. Waiting for a receipt to print out has never been so wonderful.

On the way out to my car (as all good things must come to an end), I saw the woman and girl again. They were walking out to their car and the girl twirlingstopped at a sign post to take a few twirls around and around and around. The woman stopped with her, a little smile on her face and commented on how she (the girl) has so much fun going out on errands with her. And yet……and yet there was also another look on the woman’s face. A look of tiredness. A look of haggardness (are those two real words? I don’t know). I knew that look. I knew it because I have felt that way many times. Many, many, many times.

Going out to run even one errand is no longer a simple, quick trip. No fast in and out and your done. With kids, there are items to make sure you pack before you leave the house, car seat straps to buckle and unbuckle, water and snacks to dole out to keep them quiet, hands to hold in parking lots, instructions to give in stores as they try to grab items off the shelf, bodies to keep an eye on so they don’t run off, and at the very least, extra time to stop and twirl around sign posts.

Kids are good at reminding us to stop and smell the roses, find the joy in life, and I love my girl for that. But it is tiring. To that woman with the little girl at Office Depot, bless you for humoring your girl and allowing her to find the fun in running a simple errand to Office Depot. May I remember to do the same with mine. In the meantime, I’m heading back to my car, alone. No car seat buckles to buckle, no blankies and drinks to dole out, no silly kids songs to play on the CD player. I am FREEEEEE!IMG_3214She may tire me out, but she also melts my heart