Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Aren't you going to kiss me goodbye?"

When I was about eight years old, I decided to run away from home. I'd suffered some great injustice at the hands of my mother and felt I had no other choice but to leave the Frazier family far behind. I don't remember what it was that caused me to start packing my bags, but it the straw that broke this little 8-year-old camel's back. I was outta there!

I sulked and plotted and devised a completely ingenious plan to just walk away and start a new life. Maybe a family with no children who really wanted a smart-ass little 8-year-old girl. (Yeah, right.) Throughout the afternoon, I flounced in to announce my plans to Mother so that she could start being real sorry even before I left. Being a natural-born drama queen, I could do no less.

After gathering my meager but necessary belongings, I was set to bid adieu to hearth and home. I could do so much better, right? And anyway, Mother obviously had it in for me. I needed to find a new mother who would appreciate me and my creative little ways. Yep. I was ready to go.

Mother was washing dishes when I lugged my sack - yes, it was a sack, not a suitcase - of assorted life possessions into the kitchen. The moment was fraught with emotion.

"Well, I'm going now," I announced in my best, kid-full-of-confidence voice.

Mother - who'd put up my tirade all afternoon - turned to look at me with big sad eyes, took the slightest pause, then said, "Aren't you going to kiss me good-bye?'

Well, that did it. Kid-confidence turned to kid-puddle-o'-tears as I dropped my sack of belongings. Mother wiped the water and suds off her hands and bent down to give me a hug.

"Welcome home." And I was back in the fold.


garth said...

Oh man. I ran away from home when I was about four and my sister Jamee was about two. We packed up some sandwiches, kissed my mother goodbye and hit the road. We lived out in the country, so we just started walking. I think we got hungry and ate the sandwiches after about 1/4 mile. Then a neighbor stopped by and offered us a ride...but we didn't really know where to go.

I settled on my friend Rick's house up the road, and we spent the day playing over there. When dinnertime came, they were going to Pizza Hut! I was jazzed, because my family never went to Pizza Hut. Rick's mom asked me if I had clean underwear with me, and told me that boys without clean underwear didn't get to have pizza. I hadn't packed ANY clothes, so we had to go back home.

Foiled by skivvies.

Winston said...

All of us must have had some similar experience. Without telling anyone, I just took off up the street when I was about four. No planning. No clothes. No food. Just my own private plan to get away from those mean and dreadful people. I started walking with our landlady's chow tagging along. That dog loved me and would not let anyone hurt me.

I got about 2 blocks up the street before my Mom, in a complete panic, found me. She convinced me to go back home and pack up a couple of sandwiches and cookies. The dog bought into the plan. The details of what happened next are fuzzy, but I decided to stay with these large humans who make good PBJs.

But one of these days, I'm gonna do it again. This time I'll do some better planning and pack some PBJs, M&Ms, and maybe a small bag of chips.

Liz said...

Aww, what a great reaction from your mom! We have a lovely photo of Daughter leaving home at a similar age.

chux said...

I plotted a escape many times as a kid, but when it came to actually walking away I think I never got more than 200 yards before I came back and tried to quietly blend in.

Ashley said...

I'm not sure how she managed to ALWAYS do that, but she had an amazing way of coming out with the exact right words to make you feel as guilty as possible. I would give anything to have "Granny's how to book on making your kids (grandkids), guilt themselves into doin' right"