Walking with my hands free

I headed to Long Island yesterday to spend the day with an old friend. I’d thought I would drive the 60 miles, then I pictured the Long Island Expressway on a Friday afternoon and thought better of it. I could take a train to a train and make it there in a couple of hours. It won’t be fast, but at least I would know what I was getting into.

Whether I’m going away for a weekend or a few days, it’s never easy to leave the house. I always have that feeling, like I’m forgetting something, and kept going back into the house to check. The dogs were looking at me like I was nuts, so after the third time in, I put on my jacket and walked out the door.

As I started walking down the street, I realized what I was missing – a hopping boy, two leashes and a pocket full of poop bags.

I walk a lot (well – not as much as Dan). I walk the dogs 2- 3 miles every day and take Jack out whenever I can. As I was walking down to the train yesterday, I felt naked without the constants of my real life. All I had was the company of good music playing in my ears. I was swinging my arms and not needing to worry about ANYTHING.

Don’t get me wrong. I love walking my pooches and any time with Jack is wonderful. The dogs are the reason that I can occasionally beat my husband on my Fitbit and wear my mom-jeans proudly. And, walking with our boy is a luxury that so many of our ALD peers can’t enjoy. I will never complain. It’s just that walking with my hands full is like . . . walking with my hands full.

I juggle a lot every day. The word “juggle” is not just a fun description, it’s my life. I often find myself throwing in laundry as I’m holding Jack’s hand and reading Anna’s latest English assignment. I don’t resent this life, but there are times I need a break.

Yesterday was one of those days. Weaving through the maze of commuters made me feel anonymous and invisible. Sometimes anonymous and invisible is how I want to feel. I had Dylan and Son Volt in my ears and I was just moving with a crowd. No one was asking for anything and there were no diapers to be changed. It was amazing.

Dan got home before me and got to relieve Maria. He also got to deal with an unfortunate bathroom episode (my timing was perfection). I walked in the house high on this feeling of independence and giddy from spending time with an old friend. Dan was happy to see me so cheery and allowed me to buzz around the kitchen and share my stories of the days’ adventures. He didn’t say much until I said, “Spending time with her was great, and COMMUTING IS AWESOME!”

My dear husband, who commutes every day, reminded me that it had been 60 degrees and sunny and that I didn’t go to Long Island to work, but to visit an old friend. I’m not sure that the freedom of a commute would translate to real freedom anyway. And, do I even really want freedom? As much as I enjoy a good walk with my hands free, I think I would miss my life full of hops and poop bags.

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