Yesterday was my son’s play day at school. Multiple track and field events are undertaken throughout the course of the day. My boy, D, thrives in competition, so I was looking forward to getting to see him perform.
Going for an all day event outside in the Kansas heat and sun means that you have to prepare very carefully, especially with a toddler in tow. So, I brought the necessary sunblock for myself and for the Little Guy, along with snacks, lots of water, Powerades, and a good lunch for all of us. Before heading out of the car to the track, I slathered on the sunblock on the Little Guy. Last thing I wanted was to have a sad Little Guy with a sunburn to take care of for days on end. I decided, against my better judgement, to wait for my own sunblock because I THOUGHT I needed a little color. Little being the operative word. We then head out for an eventful day.
My tween age son is a bit small for his age, but what he lacks in stature, he makes up for in his attitude. You get what I mean….he’s small but mighty, but I digress. D chose to compete in the long jump, high jump, 400 run, and for a little excitement, the sack races! One would think that these events that he chose would be for the tall and lanky, but why stunt the efforts of a little guy? Well, I am proud to say that D came home with a first in all of his events for his age group, except the high jump which he got second. Last year D broke the school record of the long jump. I wish I could remember how far he jumped. This year he performed just as well.
1:30 soon approached and the activities of the day came to a close. D and the Little Guy were both tired and somewhat cranky. Despite my best efforts of making everyone drink the necessary fluids, all of us were in need of hydration and a cool atmosphere, so we eventually headed for home. While driving home, I felt that all too familiar tingle of an onset of a sunburn. Oh brother, the excitement of the day made me forget or maybe not want to go back to the car and apply sunblock. We get home and the red on my shoulders is glaring up at me. Well, you would think that I would have enough smarts to protect myself for the rest of the day, especially when heading out on a motorcycle ride for a couple of hours…all…by…myself…yes, all by myself…without kids….without a care in the world! Or so I thought. I arrived home, picked up my Little Guy, and that’s when I knew that I was in for a world of hurt! My arms, chest, and feet were screaming at me with a blazing red sunburn! I head to the bathroom to wipe off the road grime from my ride and access the sunburn damage and that’s when I see it….right smack dab in the middle of my bicep are two very white hand prints in the middle of the scarlet red. My Little Guy had branded me with his freshly sun-blocked hands before the day had even started! Oh, I just had to laugh. I love being a mom and now I have the marks to prove that I am just that…a mom…
What does it take for you to feel free? Truly free? Well…what is freedom anyway?
For me, freedom means contentment. Freedom means peace…true inner peace. Freedom is that feeling of being able to breathe without thinking about the “what ifs”.
One of my most treasured pleasures, besides my kids and Billy, is riding a motorcycle. I started riding at the end of the summer in 2008. By the following summer in 2009, my husband and I went on my first road trip that was approximately 1800 miles round trip to visit my family.
My first bike was a beautiful cherry red 1992 Kawasaki that my husband rebuilt. I was so proud of that bike. She was mine! She was also very light in the Kansas wind, so needless to say, I got whipped around quite a bit, but I digress.
My second bike was a Harley. A 1993 Harley Sportster that rode like a bucking bronco. By the time you rode 20 miles down the road, your hands were bright red and itching like you’d just grabbed a handful of stinging nettle. But wow, was that a different feeling of raw power…a Harley. On a Sportster, you ride the bike. You have to concentrate to control the bike. It’s hard to explain unless you have ridden before. This was also the bike I rode those grueling 1800 miles (with some major breaks in between).
My third bike…yes, my third bike, was and is a 2005 Harley Dyna Superglide Custom. She’s deep red and chromed out and rides down the road like the wind blowing through the trees. True freedom. You get on and kick her into high gear and….leave all your worries behind. Ride into the wind. Forget your struggles. Live…and…breathe……Sound cliche? Well….anyone who owns and actually rides their Harley can tell you that riding is the best therapy you can get. Wind therapy. Road therapy. Not one person can bother you, complain to you, rag on you when you are on your bike…It’s just you, your bike, and God! If you only knew how often I sang at the top of my lungs “hallelujah’s” to the Lord!
My answer to all of the women, and men, for that matter, who “just need a break” or are headed to a deep, dark depression because of their inability to “just breathe” is ride…ride like the wind. Everything will still be there when you get back. The bickering, yelling, arguing, whining, and neverending work will still be there. Yep. And I’m so glad, because they are my family and I love them with all of my being. But sometimes…I just need a break. A motorcycle break….