As I walked into the grocery store, I hurried to the one aisle that had the two things I needed: a bottle brush and diapers. Well that was quick and easy. I started for the register, but instead looked down at my phone. I had exactly 1 hour and 48 minutes until a little girl would need me with intentions of literally sucking the life out of me. So instead of turning left at the end of the aisle, I slowly turned right and wondered through every single aisle, carefully searching the shelves to appear on task, but allowing my mind to wonder freely and even go numb at times. I walked through every single aisle, occasionally picking up a product only to look it over and slowly sit it back down on the shelf. I had no intention of buying anything else, but I couldn't bring myself to leave so soon. There was a chance I could find something that I had never found before, something we desperately needed and never knew about, but there was a greater chance I may not get out of the house tomorrow and I wanted to savor this moment.
On my second trip through the store (yes I went through twice) I felt refreshed and surprisingly calm. Maybe it was the mist from the produce section that I accidentally got to close to or maybe it was the past hour of no one crying in my ear or even saying my name, but I started to notice other people. Other mom's were doing the same thing...the mom standing with her face inside the ice cream freezer with her eyes closed, her hands never reaching for the tasty treat. The mom picking up every can of beans only to sit it right back down on the shelf and move on to do the same thing with each bottle of vinegar. And the mom who was clearly exhausted as she walked slowly through the cereal aisle, leaving a trail of once frozen corn from the bottom of her cart where her frozen foods had thawed long ago.
I used to think a getaway meant a planned vacation, maybe an island with blue water and white sand or at least a weekend away, exploring a new city, but now my getaways include extra long trips to the grocery store ALONE and somehow that makes me just as happy.