The other day Annie and I went out for a run. Down a tree lined street, a little dog darted out from the door of a house and took off, soon to be followed by the owner, who quickly realized that she'd need her car to chase down this little dog, and soon the dog was followed by Annie and me, the owner in her car, and a driver passing by who knew her assistance was needed as well. That dog did not know where to go but she had a good idea that she wanted to go! and so just kept going, across this way, coming back again, going around this tree and that. It took all four of us to corral that dog and even at that, the odds seemed to be against us. Finally, Lola, the dog was back in her owners car after darting through six yards and giving us all a good run!
My mind is like this too. It's amazing how much coming and going I can do when just sitting still. If they actually tracked my brain function I'm sure mine would look more like fireworks than a systematic pattern. I heard that medications used to treat ADHD actually have the effect of speeding up the brain even further making it so tired it has to settle down and focus. I don't know if this is true, but that kind of sums up my life. Things are going so rapidly that it takes my four children to corral me like we did the dog. One thing, cleaning up, leads to another, packing for vacation, and before I know it I'm so exhausted I have to sit and focus on one thing. So somebody says, "What's for dinner? and I'm like okay, I'll cook dinner. Then while cooking dinner, I begin packing again all the food I think we might need for our camp vacation. It's MIHD, motherhood induced hyperactivity disorder.
The funny thing is I see my kids in that little dog too. They may not literally being darting out the door, but they are quickly leaving the house. First it's, "Mom, I'm going outside," then, "Mom, I'm going to school," then "Mom, I'm going next door," "I'm going for a bike ride, a run," "I'm hanging out with the guys," "I'm off to college." The thing is we can't corral them anymore. I asked Charlie yesterday if he just wanted to stay home with me instead of going to school and he said, "Can you really do that?" No, you can't do that anymore than you can stop from growing, stop from going. At one point the dog owner debated whether to go back inside to get the dog's favorite toy, or a dog bone. She didn't. She knew that whatever Lola was finding on her run was much more appealing than anything she could find in her old dog bed.
And so it is with another school year. What they will find there is much more appealing than any old thing mom could come up with at this point. We have our moments, our shiny memories that will always hold us together, but what's out there is so new, so full of adventure that I won't be demanding that they come back inside. They'll be coming and going for a long while still. I'll look forward to hearing them share all their adventures at the dinner table and I'll appreciate that they are all still sleeping in the beds upstairs, but I'll also be aware that one day when that screen door slams and they are on the other side... well let's just leave it at that.
My brother too... I think for so long he came home, he stayed with us, he kept us believing in him, that everything was okay. Then one day he knew. He knew that what was on the other side would be better. He knew that saying goodbye was too hard and he just took off before we could even chase him down the street. No one knew where to look, where to go, who to call to help us find him. He had to leave, had to get out there and seek new adventures. We couldn't corral him and keep him anymore. And I know that just like the little dog he is finding so many wonders out there and he is happy, wagging his tail, coming and going and doing his thing.