Last year E wanted to run away after she and I had a minor argument. In her fashion she stuffed her backpack full of all the things she'd need, and was ready to bolt. Where to? Well, in the end it didn't matter she decided to stay for supper and forgot all about it over our meal.
Well, something sparked that romantic view of up and leaving with all her precious and necessary items strapped to her in a ladybug backpack this evening. I noticed just before 5 that her backpack was by the door again and she was stealthily making trips up and down the staircase. I was a bit clueless as to why all this was happening again, I suppose it could have been the fact I informed her that our family movie night was canceled due to her lack of regard to specific instruction I had given, or maybe the math homework I insisted we complete, or the fact I offered the last coveted slice of Margarita pizza to her cousin for lunch. Whatever it was, she was decided. Our home was not a livable place and she was packin' up and walking to Gram's house (she later confided).
Dinner seems to make everything better. She smiled when we asked her why she wanted to go; she couldn't remember why. During her bath as I scrubbed her soapy head, she even gave me permission to look through her backpack.
I know none of this warrants too much worry, she's a smart 7-year-old who likes to play the drama card frequently. We spend our days in very close proximity. I pretty much know her every move, and if I'm not right at hand there's at least 3 other mom's watching her like a hawk and wouldn't flinch to have to report any malfeasance. I get it. She's a strong headed kid in a house with 3 other equally strong headed goofs. Hey, I wanna run away at least once a week! She and I are cut from a similar cloth. I often feel like it isn't fair I have to do things I don't want to do all day. That I don't get to choose what I eat, where I drive, how much sleep I get or don't get, what I get to spend my money on, or how I spend my free time (because it just doesn't feel like free time!).
It's just the tiniest bit hard though, to not take it personally. Doesn't she know I'd be lost without her? Doesn't she know I live my entire day for my family? That I've specifically chosen this path in life? That what brings meaning to my morning is the immediate realization that they're mine. That I grieve repeatedly because she's had to learn life lessons so much earlier than I did. I want to run away too.
She confided that her plan was to wait until we were asleep and then leave, and I kind of think that Molly was part of the conspiracy too. What she couldn't comprehend is that I awaken at the slightest cough from my children, how could she slip away under my radar? Maybe it wasn't a forever decision, because she didn't pack any clothes this time, but what did make the cut leaves me with such an essence of who she is right now:
1 stuffed dolphin N gave her for last Christmas
1 small black pillow she and I made for one of her first sewing lessons
my security blanket from when I was small
an old necklace I gave her
a crystal she bought with her own money
her safety reflector vest
a photo album
her journal and pen
and 1 of D's dirty socks (this one is un-understandable to me)
As I now read over this list part of it makes me laugh; a reflector vest and worn sock? Well, at least she'd be safe. A good majority tho, makes me wonder what she was trying to get away from if she packed so many things that are from me, of us? I know, it's silly to analyze this to pieces, but in that small nagging place in my brain I can't help but go over it.