It was a Saturday morning. I was still in my bed, refusing to acknowledge that morning had come. I pulled the covers over my head as the light began to peek through the blinds. I just wanted a few more minutes before having to get up to make breakfast for my kids. I could hear them whispering back and forth to each other in their room. It sounded like they were going through their toys and I could hear the zippers on their back packs opening and closing.
Then my daughter ran into my room shouting at the top of her lungs, “Liam says we’re going to Andrew’s house!” I was immediately confused. We had no plans to visit anyone that day. What was he talking about? When I questioned my son I could see that he had been caught. He gave his little sister the death stare, “I told you not to tell!”
Soon the truth came out. My son was planning to run away to live at his friend’s house, and he was taking his little sister with him. I felt as if someone had slapped me in the face. Why on earth would he want to run away from his home? Why would he want to run away from me?
My son began to get more and more upset as we questioned him. I thought it was odd that he suddenly wanted to run away when nothing had even happened. Sure, he gets in trouble sometimes like every other kid, but it had been a while since we last had an incident. I soon realized that my son really just wanted to do whatever he wanted without consequence. I had always told him that as long as he was living in our house he would have to follow our rules. This is something parents say all the time, but my son really took it to heart. He decided that he didn’t want to follow our rules, and therefore he wouldn’t be living in our house anymore. I was equal parts heartbroken and annoyed by his conclusion.
I tried to explain to him that we loved him and wanted him to be a part of our family. I also let him know that Andrew’s parents also had rules at their house. They didn’t let him do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. It was ridiculous for him to think he would be able to just move in to their home. My son was still determined to leave so I had to put my foot down and let him know he wouldn’t be going anywhere. This further upset him and I decided to let him work out his feelings on his own for a little while.
I was near tears myself when I decided to call my parents and tell them what was going on. I didn’t understand how my son could think running away was a good day. I took it as a personal insult and felt like a failure of a mother. My mom reassured me that a lot of kids go through this phase. My dad reminded me that he had attempted to run away when he was just a little older than my son. He actually got out the door and made it a few block before deciding to turn back. I also seem to recall my sister running away from home once when we were kids. I believe she stayed next door for a while before trudging back home.
I felt better after hearing from my parents. Maybe this is just a thing some kids go through? My son soon forgot about the whole idea and he seems pretty content to stay home now. I even asked him recently if he still thought about running away and he was adamant about staying. I think he realized just how good he has it at home. Hopefully this will be the last we ever hear about any of our children attempting to run away. As much as they drive me crazy, I think I would miss them too much.