The mom waits at the stoplight outside of the shopping center. Her grocery list is uninspiring and includes team snacks and dog food and laundry supplies. It is a sunny spring day and her eyes wander to the park across the street. Tempting. Is it possible to play hooky at age 45?
You want the truth about abdicating your maternal throne? I think you can handle it.
I remember as a teen learning about King Edward VIII who abdicated the British throne in order to be with the American divorcée Wallace Simpson. It seemed so romantic . . . to give up everything to be with your one true love.
I engaged in an abdication of sorts recently, but it wasn’t nearly as dreamy. My friend Tracy Curtis wanted to take her new book Trophy Mom to Main Street Books in Davidson and I quickly volunteered to help. I have loved Davidson for decades and will jump at any excuse to get back to that place.
And it was a beautiful day to stroll through campus. In a full circle moment I sounded just like my father when he brought me to school back in the day (What is that? Carpet for your dorm room? We sure didn’t have that when I went here!) because there have been quite a few amazing additions and transformations since I was a student. Old favorites still remain, though: the majestic Chambers building, the Old Well, Patterson Court.
After Tracy met with the folks at the bookstore I fished my phone from the bottom of my purse and glanced at it unhurriedly . . . only to find I had five missed calls and several texts. Uh oh.
I had rescheduled a washing machine service call from that day to the next week, but the repair guy never got the memo. He showed up after calling a couple of times, and my husband was dealing with it. Which could be fine – if he’d had any prior knowledge about it. Luckily, he was just involved with a few surgeries and patient clinics, so this was exactly the type of distraction that he must crave to keep things fresh and interesting.
I called him back and he very reasonably asked, “Where are you?”
Davidson, I replied.
Taken out of the context of my book task it sounded so ridiculous (um, thank you for not stating the obvious that taken in the context of my task it also was pretty ridiculous. Like a newbie wouldn’t be able to find the bookstore on her own without a tour guide? After all, Main Street is at least two or three blocks long . . . )
Davidson? he repeated slowly, like, oh sure, in the middle of a random day in the middle of the week you have gone back to . . . college? I wonder if it all flashed across his mind then – the possibility that I was engaged in a time travel back-to-the-future breakdown, that I had run away from home, that I was heading to the arms of a long lost paramour.
Truly, it was freeing to head up the road to a happy place for a happy reason, and I was a little giddy about playing hooky from my life for a moment. Of course, while a temporary reprieve from the unglamorous is appealing, the truth is there’s no way I could totally abandon that life for my one true love – because it completely encompasses my one true love . . . my family.
Want to get a better handle on abdication? Watch this Madonna movie trailer about the famous lovers, jam to this ‘80’s throwback about running away, and check out where you can grab a copy of Tracy Curtis’ new book Trophy Mom.
Bess Kercher, M.A. explores the reality of motherhood in her blog "A Few Good Moms...Can You Handle the Truth?" Bess lives in Charlotte with her husband and two sons. You can read more of her writing at www.maemucho.com.