Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Great Escape

It occurred to me early this morning that life is a series of escapes. When we're kids, we can't wait to escape into adulthood. We think grown ups have it going on. Then we get to be grown ups, and we wonder what the hurry was; this grown up thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. For starters, you have to pay for stuff. Where's the fun in that? So we long to escape back into childhood, when it was simple and easy and all we had to do to get money was make the bed and do a few chores and our parents handed us an allowance every Sunday. But we're grown ups now, and without a workable time machine, we can't escape into the past. We can try, but the thing is, we're grown ups with responsibilities. Then we take it up a notch. We have kids of our own. They're so adorable and lovable and we can't wait for them to go the eff to sleep so we can escape for a while. Then we take it to the next level. We go on quests to find the perfect babysitter so we can escape for a few hours.  Getting out of the house becomes a mental health requirement. We beg our parents to "watch the kids" so we can sneak away for a few nights and remember why we got married in the first place. "Oh, yeah. Hi. You're nice. It's all coming back to me now."

And then our kids become teenagers and can't wait to escape from us. They stay out all night and worry us sick. They enroll in colleges that are far, far away. They don't get in, necessarily, but it's healthy to dream. Maybe they only escape a few hours away, but they're out there in the universe, aren't they, pretending to be grown ups for a while. It's a dress rehearsal. They're not adults yet. They're emerging into something else. And then they graduate college and all that escaping leads them right back to the beginning. They move back in with us and plan their next big escape into the real world of employment and paying the rent and all that fun stuff we've been handling for them since birth.

These days, I'm trying to escape from reality, a few moments here, a few moments there. Every day, I'm collecting my frequent flyer miles, planning my next big escape, even if I don't leave the house.

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