My Great Escape


A woman holding her wallet and the shopping cart.We are heading out of town for a beach vacation in a week. Of course, much preparation goes into a successful vacation. I have spent the past few days making sure we have the appropriate clothing, bathing suits, enough towels, beach and pool entertainment, snacks, and drinks, among much more, for my family of five. My dining room table is piled high with everything, and I keep adding to it.

This afternoon, I wanted to go shopping alone. I placed an order for pick up, but I also hoped to walk around a bit to find another bathing suit and more goggles. I was also craving a Starbucks.

I told my husband I was going, and he said, “We’ll all join you.” Do not get me wrong; I love my family very much. I do not even mind shopping with them occasionally, but today I was not ready for it.

First, and I take full blame for this, two of my three children cannot help themselves and ask for every single thing they lay eyes on. Today’s plan was not to browse; I was going with a mission. Second, bless him, but with my daughter’s help, my husband was pulling out bathing suits I would have worn ten years ago. Third, we had way more in the cart than I had planned to buy.

At one point, my husband asked if the kids were like this every time we go shopping. Yes, they are, which is exactly why I wanted to go alone. So, after a couple of hundred dollars and a thirty-dollar Starbucks order, we left.

This got me thinking. As a busy mom, I do not have much time off. And I don’t mean off from work because, as a teacher, I am not technically working my chosen career over the summer. I mean off from thinking about all of the things.

I may be dropping my kids off at camp or the dance studio, but I am still making sure they have every item they need. I am deciding what we should eat for dinner, what activities the kids should be involved in, and what fun plans we should make for the weekend. I am the social director for play dates and figure out how to fit in date nights and time with my friends.

So, shopping is my escape. I go multiple times a week because it is close to my home and has most items I need, but it also provides me with something else. I get a coffee, and I can walk. I know where everything is, and this is so lame, but it offers me comfort. This can be any place where busy people can stop thinking for a while.

I know that our beach vacation is going to be so much fun and also very relaxing. I know that, like any parent, I will need a vacation from the vacation when we return. Shopping at my favorite store will be waiting for me.


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