When your 10-year-old runs away from home (for 15 minutes), you think it is going to be pretty straightforward. But it’s not.
Yesterday my 10-year-old was mad about something. I don’t really know what. He may have been over-reacting…but whatever. I figure he is entitled to be mad about something even if it is an over-reaction. However, for some reason he ran outside and locked himself in my car. Which isn’t the best idea, so I made him get out. Which made him madder.
So he said he was going to run away.
So I said okay.
I dutifully yelled after him to stay on the sidewalks and to be careful of cars, as he took off running down the street (but on the sidewalk, yay for safety!) And I skipped back into the house to finish getting dinner together.
The way I saw it, it was just a matter of time before one of them fake ran away. (Yes, I briefly wondered if I should pull a Carol Brady and fake run away with him…but, no.)
I expected the fake run away. I barely batted an eyelash.
What took me by surprise was when all the other kids turned on me angry-mob style.
Angry Mob: Where’s Joey?
Me: Huh? Oh, he ran away.
Angry Mob: What?!
Me: Yeah, I know right? He took off running down the street.
Angry Mob: Why’d you let him run away?
Me: I didn’t let him. He just started running.
Angry Mob: Why didn’t you grab him?
Me: I don’t know. He was running. I would have had to run to catch him. It would have been ridiculous.
Angry Mob: So you just let him run away?
Me: Yes. Well, no. I mean I told him to stay on the sidewalks.
Angry Mob: WHAT?! It’s dark out!
Me: It’s not dark. It’s getting dark. It’s more like dusk. Plus, He didn’t really run away. He’s in the neighborhood somewhere. He’s probably hiding in the woods.
Angry Mob: We’re going to look for him.
Me: Okay. Just, um, you know, stay on the sidewalks. And don’t talk to strangers. And if you see a coyote you should probably run.
They’re so cute!
So there I am thinking about how I am SUCH a good mom that I raised these kids who are so nice that they formed a posse to go look for their brother (who I let run away.) All of which brought a tear of joy to my eye, quite frankly.
And it would have been all fine…except they couldn’t find him.
So my husband jumped into the truck to join the search. Which, again, would have been fine…except he couldn’t find him either.
So I joined in the search. Because I am his mother. And I will find that child.
And I did.
He was hiding in the car.
Isn’t that how this whole thing started? I was like, “Get out of the car. Now.”
And he did.
The search was called off, we all went in the house, and everything was quiet for 5 minutes.
Until Jess tripped over an ice cube (I’m serious), and started hysterically (fake) crying because she thought that she may (or may not) have stubbed her toe.
Which was immediately followed by Cooper and Harry discovering (simultaneously) that they each had at least one tick on them (from their search in the woods.) Which was immediately followed by clothes being flung everywhere. (Even though I was yelling at them to put their clothes into one neat pile — so I could wash them, or burn them, whichever made the most sense.) Which was immediately followed by Cooper saying. “There was just a tick on me right here. Now I can’t find it.”
And it became perfectly clear that I SHOULD have pulled a Carol Brady. And I SHOULD have run away with Joey. Only not fake run away. For real run away. (Not “away” away. Just, like, to Target or something.) Yes, I should have packed up a red handkerchief, tied it to the end of a long stick, and run away to Target.