Wednesday, August 24, 2011
When my son was five, he had a game called "Silly Six Pins." It was a bowling game, with a battery-operated stand that would flash and beep when you knocked the pins down. But it was the box, not the game, that is the point of this story. Once, when he had had his fill of the shenanigans around the house, when the imagined slights (and the all too real ones) had gotten to be too much, he put a pair of pajamas, a stuffed animal and a copy of "Each Peach Pear Plum" in the Silly Six Pins box and headed out the front door.
I looked up a few minutes later. “Has anyone seen the Gamer?” No one had. I looked outside and saw him sitting cross-legged at the corner of the cul-de-sac, elbows digging into his knees, face in his hands.
My neighbor saw me and came out. "This is about the cutest thing I have ever seen," she murmured. "I saw him walking off and I figured what was going on. I called to him and he said, ‘I’m running away.' So then I asked if he wanted to come over and hang out with us.”
(Hmm. That sounded familiar. Wanting to run away, but needing to clear it with headquarters. Check.)
I walked over to him and he glared at me, but his lower lip was quivering.
(Damn you, lower lip! Mine has failed me on numerous momentous occasions.)
“What’re ya doin’?” I asked.
“Running away. I’m mad at everybody and nobody’s my friend.”
(Roger that, little man. Loud and clear.)
“I’m your friend. Are you mad at me?” (I steeled myself for this very real possibility.)
“No. But I just needed to leave for a little while.”
(Get out of my head, you telepathic little shit).
“Well, I’m going to the little store for a Choco Taco if you want to come with me.”
It was nonchalance first, then relief that I saw play across his face.
"Okay, mom, but I just need to put this stuff on the porch first."
Later that evening, after a Choco Taco for him and a furtive double Grey Goose rocks for me, he brought the box inside and put it in his closet.
“Do you want to put that stuff away?
“Nope. I’m just going to keep it in there with all this stuff in it. If I need to, I’ll be ready to go.”
(Duly noted, my dude. And an excellent idea. Everyone needs a go bag. Or box, as the case may be.)
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 1:45 PM