Reasons and Respite 

Today I’m that little girl that wants to take off running, hair flying behind me, wildly, barefoot, not a care in the world. Not looking back, not worrying about responsibilities or belongings. Just running. Holding my skirt so I don’t become entangled in it and fall down. The wet grass feels cold and calls to mind the coldness of my life. There is no affection for me in my home. Yes, the children love me, but a woman needs to be held, cherished. His affections have been with another for so long. And that has killed anything more that I could feel for him. I’ve tried over the years to resurrect what was lost, but in this story, there are no miracles. No rolling away the stone to reveal an empty space. No, the stinking decay still remains. It is just as foul and offensive as it was the day I found them out.

On days like today, when the running is so tempting, and I’m asking myself why I refrain….I need only to look at them. The older one, the man child with the coal black eyes and high cheek bones. My Chief. He’s trying to find his place. High school is looming and he is happy about it one day and in the pits of despair the next. His boy body is changing,  as are his opinions, tastes, habits, moods. He is silent, stoic, intelligent. He believes his lot in life is to pick on my little one. After all, brothers are supposed to make each other miserable, right? Oh this one with the blonde hair and eyes the color of blueberries. My little Romeo, so loving. Almost finishing a year in grade school, yet has the essence of an old soul. He is wise beyond his years. These two are my reasons for staying and enduring. You see, even though he is oblivious to the bride of his youth, he is extremely focused on these two treasures. Even now I can hear their laughter mixed with his, wrestling and all around male shenanigans are happening in our living room. There will be bike rides, basketball games, air soft shooting, remote control gadgets of all “species”, and a geek fest of epic proportions down in our media room. He is a hands on, attentive father. They deserve a happy childhood with both parents who love them. And we do. We certainly do. Someday, when they have graduated and have moved out, things will look very different. Until then, when I am tempted to run, I will listen to their laughter, I will look at their eyes shining with joy and mischief. I may even join in some of the shenanigans, and my running will be to run with them on whatever boyhood adventures they dream up. I will choose their happiness over mine because that’s what parents do. For me, that means to stay put for now. For now.

There will still be days when the desire to run and escape overwhelms my needy heart. I’m grateful for times of escape, whenever they come. Oh, those times of sweet, sweet respite.

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