Milo is four months shy of being old enough to attend our church nursery. There’s a whole slew of babies his age. I call us the hall wanderers. If he hasn’t napped before church, I often pack him in the car and ride around and he naps. Some days I drive around and look at people’s flowers and landscaping for ideas. Other days I admire the gardens at Virginia Tech, and maybe even steal a snippet of a flower or shrub to start in my own gardens. Today, we just toddled around the church parking lot, Milo picking up sticks and crunching leaves under his Crocs.
We melted and returned to the inside and sat in the nearly empty chapel. I imagined raising my arms and lowering my head and shaking it up and down in agreement to a man out in the corridor who much too loudly spoke of his late grandfather. A man who apparently had been so practical in one sense that he only owned two shirts and two pairs of pants, yet who was so indulgent with other poisons of life that “he drank so much alcohol, he was a walking wick!” Amen, brother, amen. I don’t judge, I just understand. I’ve heard a few stories here and there in very little detail of one of my own grandfathers who also escaped that way. Knowing some of the heartache he saw, I can’t blame him, I praise him for even going on after tragedies he faced in his young family. I look for an escape myself. Milo and I escape the confines of the pews and testimonies by running through the parking lot or driving around town. I escape in trying my hand at photography, sometimes I escape to the bathroom floor in tears. We all do it. We all look for our fix. We all escape to try to find ourselves. I try to find a place to go, but I can’t escape myself staring back in this little guy’s face.