I should be working today. I have a zillion articles in my queue for two companies. But it’s raining. And damp. And gloomy. And I’m so tired. I don’t want to be productive today. I was already really productive last week. Can I be unproductive this week?
So I’m procrastinating, reading some blogs that I haven’t visited in a long time. I have my “faithful few” that I visit every day. Others I visit less frequently because the bloggers don’t update regularly. There is such pressure in the bloggy-world to update every day. I don’t like that kind of pressure, personally. Once I find a blog I like, I visit it when there’s an update. I don’t write them off or delete them from my feed reader just because they don’t update every day. Yet I do feel that pressure to update every day. :-p
Anyway, some of the blogs had updates, quirky little homilies that sent me back down memory lane. I don’t think that I share enough stories here (and I am very fond of reading your stories), so I’ll write one. Doing so will serve several purposes: one, I get to continue procrastinating; two, I update the blog and won’t feel guilty; three, it’ll give you something to read (hopefully). My little story is a totally random childhood memory about the time I tried to run away from home.
I was the only girl in the family for several years. My mom had married my step-dad and we were a “Yours, Mine, and Ours”) kind of family. Did you ever see that movie, starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda? My parents absolutely loved it. Me, not so much. I especially hated the “breakfast” scene, when Lucille Ball cooked huge, huge breakfasts for the entire clan. Since I was the only girl in the family, all I got out of that movie scene was thinking of the massive piles of dishes that had to be washed after all that cooking and cleaning. Ugh….
Anyway, lol. We were a big family and I was the only girl in the house. We lived in a neighborhood that had no girls, none. Just boys. I also wore thick glasses and the family was poor, so I didn’t have many friends in school. So I was a pretty introverted and lonely little kid (and rather sensitive). When I was almost 8 years old, my mom had a baby, a little girl. I was hoping for a sister for SO long and she finally came. But like Lady the cocker spaniel in “Lady and the Tramp,” the joy of a new baby was rapidly eclipsed by the mother’s isolation and her absorbing attention and affections to the new baby. So I climbed into my little shell even more.
I don’t know exactly what caused me to do this– maybe it was a recent “Little House on the Prairie” episode where Laura runs away– or maybe it was the new little luggage set my uncle bought me for Christmas…. but I decided to run away from home. I was fed up with chores and brothers and school! I packed my most prized possessions– my “Black Beauty” paperback, a pb&j sandwich, a pair of socks and the 65 cents I’d stashed– and announced my intentions that morning.
My little stepbrother, with whom I’d formed a close attachment, was distraught. He didn’t like the idea of running away, but life at home would become so unbearable without me that he decided to come along. Glad for the company and support, I loaned him one of my pieces of little luggage (good thing they were blue colored and not pink) and he packed his Matchbox cars and a clean pair of socks, too. (Don’t ask me why clean socks was so important to us, lol – ??). We bravely informed my mom of our decision, and decided to strike our fortunes on our own that August morning.
My mom, not to be outdone by elementary school children, announced that if we left, then she was running away, too. She was tired of all the chores (inspired by Lucille Ball, no doubt), all the complaining, all the problems. She hopped in the car as we walked down the driveway.
I remained unmoved but my little brother was aghast. “The baby!” he said. “If mom runs away, no one will take care of the baby!” As if in chorus, all my brothers spilled out of the house into the front yard to watch us depart. They repeated my little brother’s concern: “The baby! The baby will starve! Who will take care of the baby??” My tender first-grade heart was touched by their care for the baby. But 35 years later, I now figure they probably cared less for the baby and more for the dishes that would pile up and THEY would have to do them, lol!
Anyway, my mom began to cruise the car down the driveway. The chants of my brothers got louder. I would feel just terrible if my baby sister starved. It would be all my fault. I had wanted a sister. I couldn’t let the baby starve. So I sat on the grass and pondered for a few minutes. My little brother plunked his little luggage down and sat beside me, waiting for my decision. Reluctantly, I got onto my feet and walked back toward the house. I couldn’t let my mom run away, she was needed. I said, “OK, I’m not running away,” and scurried to my room to unpack my things. I ate my sandwich and delved into “Black Beauty.”
Looking back, the whole thing seems silly. Kids are so funny, the way they think. Back then, inspired by TV and stories, I figured that my life would improve if I ran away. I grew up to know better.
Several years later, my mom had ANOTHER baby– a girl! And this time, my dad bought a dishwasher. It wasn’t only me that got a little wiser over the years. ;)