It finally happened. The right of passage that I think many little ones have as they grow old, and when they don’t always get their way. My 4 year old informed me the other night that he was leaving, running away, and going to live with new parents, forever, a couple days, just until tomorrow.
Four has got to be a painful age, probably one of the kind reasons we are not subjected to the pain that we are going to be forced to remember it in vivid detail, it’s full of excitment and wonder, but also struggle, and annoyance, and frustration as that poor little brain struggles to find a way to absorb all of the new knowledge and information that’s being pumped into it. Especially for my little “Autobot”. He’s too smart.
it started over a desire not to go to bed, at the designated time, and get up and play. This of course caused a bit of a power play between us, and resulted in the final Dad directive, “If you don’t get back in bed now, then there is no Xbox tomorrow.” I know, he’s only 4, and we’re talking Xbox, but that’s a topic for a different post.
With that he decided that he no longer wanted to live with us, and that he needed new parents, and a new family, and that he was leaving right now. So he asked for a suitcase, but settled on his Transformers backpack. Now I was faced with a Dad dilemma. Do I stop this now, or let it play out for a little while. To me allowing my kids to think out their own logic is important so I decided to let it play out, though my wife questioned my logic.
“What are you packing?”, I asked
“These clothes, and all of my Scensty Buddies“, he answered as he tried to get too many things into his small backpack.
From there he went to see both of his brothers and gave them each a hug, told them of his plan to leave immediately, ( to which they both mumbled something to the effect of “see ya” but he did get a hug from the 14 year old) and came downstairs with his bag, and told his mother he would miss her.
“Where are you going to find your new family?”
“In Florida“, (We would like to relocate there eventually)
“How are you going to get there?”
“I’ll take a taxi.”
“Do you have money for the taxi?”
“No, you can lend it to me.”
If I don’t see you again how are you going to pay me back?
He thought about this for a minute, and then asked, “Can I come back in a couple days?“. I asked him if he really wanted to go, and wouldn’t he miss his brothers and his mother and I a lot?
He went upstairs to says his goodbyes again, (now my wife was thinking I was going a bit far), and then came down tears coming down his face, “Dad, can I come back tomorrow, I’m just going to really miss you.”
So I set him on my lap, and told him how much I would miss him too, and that running away because he was upset wouldn’t make it better, it was just making him feel bad. He hugged me close, and said he didn’t want to leave.
“I love you too, and don’t ever want you to leave either.”
At least maybe not for another 16 years.
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