Did you ever consider running away when you were a child?
I thought I was the only one until I read this post by Matt Posky, talking about his failed attempts at running away (often thwarted by his mother’s playing along).
When I was in kindergarten, I often wished I were adopted. (Let’s just say I have never had a warm, fuzzy relationship with my mother to begin with. Blogging made me dig deeper into my childhood memories and helped me come to realize this unfortunate fact of my life. More about that one day…) Later in elementary school, when the emotional bullying started, in addition to wondering about suicide, I thought about running away. A lot. Just so I did not have to go to school and face my tormentors. Fortunately for me, I was both lazy and weak therefore I never really did carry out the plan. I kept on putting my departure day off, for one excuse or another. Of course there were the usual rationalizations: Where would I go? How would I pay for anything? Where would I take a bath?
The thought of running away (and the failure to carry it out) continued into junior high. I could not remember why now, but I did remember vividly how I convinced myself to stay put week after week:
It was this television series. At that time, a TV station in Taiwan was finally allowed to show a television program from Hong Kong. It was an epic Wu Xia series; nothing like that has ever been show before. It was on every Sunday night. And it became a sensation overnight (with a reported rating of 70%+). When it was on, people rushed home to be in front of the TV and the streets were deserted. If you were unfortunate enough to be caught outside and needing a cab at that time? You were out of luck.
I too was swept up by the fever. I kept on putting off running away because I really wanted to see the ending of the story. Every Sunday the show ended with a dramatic cliff hanger. Will the hero choose this girl over that other girl? Frankly, that’s all I wanted to know: whom he ended up with.
There were 65 episodes…
I know I was projecting when I became alarmed at my youngest, Mr. Monk’s obsession with the Harry Potter books. When he was devouring the books in rapid succession, I thought I recognized the longing in his voice when he recounted some of the more memorable scenes. All of a sudden, I felt a pang in my heart, and I felt sorry for Mr. Monk for having me as a mother. For having to witness some of the ugliness that a long marriage is sure to produce from time to time, to time. For having to deal with my bouts of emotional-ness followed by nonchalance. I do not want that for my children yet sometimes I would recognize that what I am witnessing could be part of a cycle, passed down from generation to generation. When I do, I panic and I spew out what pops up into my head.
Me: Honey, I just want to let you know… I am sorry. But I really did give birth to you. You are not adopted. Your real family is here. They are not coming to get you. I just want to let you know so you are not disappointed. You have to work with what you’ve got.
Mr. Monk: Mom, I don’t hate you.
A note for my dear friends and visitors: I am sorry for MIA lately. Long story short: My company has been acquired and we have been going through the whole merger, learning the new everything while having to meet the deadlines of old everything. Plus, as some of you may have heard my S.O.S. on Twitter and Facebook: I was given a Macbook Air by the very generous new employer and I realized I am actually, much to my chagrin, a Luddite. I do not know why but the whole Mac thing completely threw me off the loop. I have been stressed to the point that I have become extremely distracted: so far I have got myself into a minor accident, forgot to pick up my child, forgot about another child’s school open house. Yes, I kind of just want to run away right now from everything, including my very cool-looking, gorgeous, fancy Macbook Air.