*Disclaimer - As with most of my posts, I am sharing my stories as best I can remember them. I know I am prone sometimes to embracing inaccurate memories of my childhood, but I figure that's what the comments section is for.... my family can always leave their corrections below. :-)
The more Kaycie starts to express herself and vocalize her pleasure or displeasure with life at the ol' homestead, the more I find myself wondering when she will decide to run away from home... just like her dear old mother. Actually, when I think about it, she is probably pretty close to the same age I was the night I decided to unleash some serious runaway drama on my family.
Lord only knows what it was that was eating me. When you're a kid, everything seems like a big deal... after all, you only have so much control over your life and a small portfolio of decisions you are allowed to make. Whatever it was, though, it really had my overalls in a knot.
Wait... I have a strange feeling that I was feeling like no one in my family was paying enough attention to me (me? wanting attention? no!). Anyway, I think I had stewed for a good day and a half when I decided the solution was to run away from home.
Now, my only research on running away from home consisted of the careful study of the dog from the hit Canadian TV series, "The Littlest Hobo" (excuse me for a moment, while I lamely wipe away a nostalgic tear) and representations of train hobos from cartoons. All I knew was that train hobos had sacks on sticks, and the littlest hobo always kept moving... never settled in one spot for too long. Good tactics to know!
So, after sulking around our house for an hour or so, looking as sullen and misunderstood as possible, I sidled into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, a jar of peanut butter and two pieces of bread and went upstairs to my sister's room. While I made a peanut butter sandwich, I filled Tharen in on my plan. I was running away.
My sister was always fairly practical, so as she listened, she only wanted to determine if she could find me if she wanted to visit, and also if I had enough provisions. I assured her that things would be fine on both counts. My plan was to spend my first week in the barn behind our house, and after that, I was going to move my camp to our neighbour Christa's (who has changed the way I shop, by the way!) house - probably in their screened in porch - so I would be close by for a while.
As for food, I had a rock solid plan. "See this sandwich?" I asked while ceremoniously and gently laying the sandwich in the centre of a bandana and tying up the four corners to fashion the first of the many, many, many cloth sacks that I have made over the course of my life. Just ask my husband. When clean laundry gets the best of me, I declare - "let's just make a hobo sack!" and I throw all the clean clothes onto a bedsheet, tie up the four corners and toss it in the corner of our bedroom. Hey... at least it's contained and cat hair resistent!
Oh yes... back to the sandwich. I said to my sister, "I am going to cut this sandwich into half every day and eat one half and leave the other half for the next day. You can always half something, so I will never run out of food!" As my sister looked on skeptically, I was like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, looking off into the distance, nodding my head and relishing the genius of my plan. In actuality, I had totally stolen the idea from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie rations his chocolate bar to savour a taste every day when he was dirt poor. I think I got a lot of my "genius" ideas from books I read as a kid. Like the time I appointed myself the emergency medic for the junior yard in elementary school and brought a first aid kit to school daily. Somehow that idea was inspired by the Encyclopedia Brown series. Strangely enough, I was embraced as yard medic by my schoolmates for three days straight until I got sick of handing out bandaids and missing precious jungle gym time.
Anyway - feeling very confident in my plan, I tied my sack onto a metre stick or something equally "found" and I walked the long walk downstairs to announce my departure to Mom and Dad.
I stopped dramatically at the doorway to our living room and cleared my throat. Mom and Dad looked up and smiled. Then Mom said something totally reasonable like, "Hmmm. I see you have a hobo sack.... what's up, honey?" I declared that I was running away due to the disproportionate amount of attention everything else in the house got in comparison to me. And then I just stood there... because OF COURSE I didn't want to sleep in the barn now that it was dark outside! Squirrels lived in our barn! And it was probably haunted!
Mom, the skilled communicator that she is, calmly and empathetically said, "Wow. I'm sorry you are so upset. Do you think you have eveything you'll need? Where will you go?"
Slowly I began to reveal my plan, and with the intuition and precision of master negotiators, Mom and Dad deconstructed my plan with me until I came to the conclusion on my own that I would stay home for the night and talk out how I was feeling with Mom and Dad. I sat and ate my sandwich and snuggled with Mom while we chatted.
I might have my details of the evening all messed up, but two things are for sure... thankfully, I never did end up having to sleep in the barn, and the sweet relief of feeling loved never felt more awesome than that night.