St. Mary's County Times September 07, 2017 - Page 27

Thursday, September 7, 2017 The County Times Contributing Writers 27 Coming Back Home Back in the days when Testosterone Ter- race was earning its name—the boys were in their early to mid-teen years—I decid- ed I needed a break. Actually, it wasn’t so much a decision as a wild and desperate attempt to temporarily fl ee the bickering and challenging and demanding, the in- your-face attempts at independence, that make mothers in the wild eat their young. I decided that a trip to an exotic locale was vastly superior to a meal of teenagers. It was ironic that just as they were stretching their newly-acquired wings, I was the one who wanted to fl y away. In those days, bit by bit, I sometimes felt as if parts of my sanity and little shards of my sense of peace were breaking off and fl ying into the space around me. While the boys’ antics may have been the cause for my disintegration, the boys themselves were also the most frequent casualties. I would have thrown myself in front of a speeding train to save any of them from my frustration and temper, but I also would have checked the schedule fi rst to see if perhaps the train was heading to a nice beach town where I could hide out for a day or two to spare them from my exas- peration and irritation and temper. Call it rationalizing, but when I decided on my escape, I fully convinced myself (and still believe to this day), that my trip to a high-end all-inclusive resort was al- most entirely for their benefi t. And so, because I love my sons, I went to Mexico. I loved my children then, and I love them even more now…and that has noth- ing to do with the fact that they no longer live with me, before you suggest such an outrageous thing. They’ve grown up to become caring, kind, funny and indepen- dent young men; what’s not to love? When I found myself on the airplane, heading south, I couldn’t quite believe it. I was really doing it; I was really travel- ing again. I’d always loved to travel, and I’d been to England, France, Greece and other places before the boys came along, but my wanderlust had been necessarily curtailed since I’d become a mother. Sure, we’d gone camping (who could forget our infamous Assateague camping trip dur- ing mating season for the wild horses. The horses were so hyped up by the thought of all those equine nights of passion that they crashed through tents and campsites, while I spent the entire night awake, sit- ting on a picnic table armed with a broom, jumping up to chase the horses away ev- ery time they approached the tent where the boys slept, blissfully unaware of all those hooves). We’d also made semi-an- nual trips to Pittsburgh to see the in-laws. What I, and we, hadn’t done (me, for years; them, for ever) was travel. That trip was magical. It reminded me of what it’s like to be taken care of when you’re always the caretaker. Most magical of all? As restful and wonderful as the trip was, once it was nearing its end, I couldn’t wait to get back home to the boys. What I remember most about the trip is all of us sitting on my bed the night I returned, talking about the trip, and the boys’ days at school and baseball games and play practices. I appreciated them again. And, they appreciated me. Win-win. The next trip to Mexico was with the boys. I wanted them to experience the culture, the warmth of the people, the ex- citement of travel. I’ll always treasure the memories from that trip, and subsequent ones, and I believe they will too. I’m proud that I was able to introduce them to the joys of travel. These days I travel for the simplest of reasons: a fascination with how other cul- tures live, pleasure experiencing the food and the foreign sites BFR6VBbЦFW"wVvRF( BVVBFW66R&SFR&2f6BRgFVVVv6F( BW7Vǒ֗72FV'WBB6bЧFVFB7F'BF涖rbW6גWBG&2Fg&6RvW&R( fPW7V6ǒVVBFB7F&RF7VFRwVvRWfVFVvFR琤g&V6676W2FvW&R7V6fW'rFRv( vFW"F&VvRЦFWffvW2BVBV6B6FWvư6fW2Bf"'&VbFRW&2f&vW@FR6VvW2B'W&FV2FBf6RאVBFW6RF22vFvBG&fVWW&V6RFR&W7B'BWfVGVǒv&R6֖p&6RFR6G2v&R7FFn6@'7BBFVFW( &R6ƖwBFЦgVf"F2VB2FWG'FRPfVVwVGf"VfrFVFFR6&R`&6Rf'7FǒBFRfVǒG6&WfW'Frv&RW7B2VgBBV@B6V( WGFW"&VBWGFrv7GVfbg&FRG&BvV&r&6Wf v&BFR&7bWfW'FƖfRw&FVgVf"FR66RBFvWBv'WBWfV&Rw&FVgVf"FR66RF6R&6RऒfRV&rg&SfVVg&VRFVRBFWv&GFV6BWG&67BW@pঐ@@PpWrf"#pP@wPV&Ɩ6FFFR7F&W"&W6W'fFFVFƖS7F&W"w&VBGfW'F6r'GVGf#'&F62( "Fw&W'0fVVW2( "f&7G2( "&W&W2( "WvVW'06FW&W'2( "6"6W'f6W2( "D07FF'62( %fFVw&W'06VGFW07B'( 26VG6fW'B6VGf"&Rf&F6F7BV7FFW"@3#Crsc"V6VGFW2W@33s2C#Rwwr6VGFW2W@C3#S&W67VRRǗvBB#c3`