Today I experienced my first run away child.
My kids were all fighting - completely normal behaviour here on a Saturday morning. I was tired and cranky and I *may have* yelled at them all to get out of my room and go back to their own rooms. Miss 7 took offence to my cranky response and headed to her room in tears.
Apparently it's 'always' her fault. Apparently I am mean and nasty. Apparently I am the worst mum ever.
In any event, she packed a small backpack - with a change of clothes, shoes and a photo of CP and I - donned a hat, and announced loudly that she was going to run away.
Our nearest neighbours are 60m away, and they are my in laws. After that, there is my friend Leesa, who is about 10km away. There is a whole lot of nothing between here and there.
So I waved goodbye to my eldest child, reminded her that I loved her and that she was welcome home whenever she was ready. I reminded her of the crocodiles under the grids, and the bunyips at the dam (more for the benefit of her siblings, who were watching in amazement). I told her to be careful of brown snakes and goannas, and to put on lots of sunscreen, because in this weather she will burn to a crisp. I reminded her that school was on Monday, and that she would be needing a uniform. I told her I was looking forward to emptying her bank account and spending it in NZ when we head there in May. I told her I hoped she would keep in touch by email, and that if I hadn't heard from her by this afternoon I would come to find her in case she had died of dehydration. I reminded her that if she wanted a lift into town, more traffic was likely to pass on our northern driveway, and that was assuming she didn't get kidnapped by a stranger beforehand.
And then I grabbed my camera and took a photo of her leaving.
That's her about 45m from home.
Less than 10 minutes later she was home and happy again. Apparently the thought of dying out there in the wild was all too much for her. And I have all my babies back together again under one roof.
It was touch and go there for a minute.
Have you ever had a run away child? Did it all end happily? Did you ever run away as a child?