Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Run run run run... run away

I remember the day I ran away. I must have been about 7 and though I can't recall the injustice that set the wheels in motion, I do recall that it was grave enough to send me on my way. I remember packing a bunch of stuffed animals in a garbage bag and then sitting in the driveway of my home, by the garage, and waiting. That was my runaway spot (I was not a big risk taker as a kid!). I think I was waiting for that moment when I would hear my parents and brothers shout, "Where is Robin? Have you seen Robin?" and I imagined they'd run outside to look for me and run right by me in a panic. I expected them to find me after a long search, apologize for whatever had happened and that we'd exchange lots of hugs and kisses and eat cookies. The end. But that's so not the way it went down! I never heard any shouting and I never saw any panicked scurrying. Eventually I got bored and tired and hungry and went back inside. And that was really the end. So overrated!

So what is it with kids romanticizing the prospect of running away? Maybe the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have something to do with it. I only know that I had not shared my own little story with my kids and was surprised when one of them let me know she has selected a runaway spot. I suspect she has a whole plan in place because when faced with grave injustice, you may be so enraged that you are not be able to think on the spot so having a plan is helpful. I've tried to ask some questions and glean some details but all I really know for sure is that a spot has been selected and that it's safe. Safe is good. I haven't been able to shed any light on the appeal of running away. though. I think it might have something to do with the appeal of coming back home.

For a sweet, funny and colorful story about running away, consider Elanna Allen's Itsy Mitsy Runs Away. The grave injustice in Mitzy's life is bedtime. She doesn't want to deal with it anymore so she decides to run away. But Mitzy quite clearly does not have a sound plan in place. Lucky for her, she has a very helpful father. This is a charming picture book that should not be restricted in terms of audience but I think it might be a particularly nice one to be shared by dads and daughters. Hmmmm... maybe a nice Father's Day present.

1 comment:

  1. It is always better to find a safe runaway place than to look for a safe hiding place in case a terrorist will get into your home !!! This is my friend the different between growing up in Canada and in Israel.