I’m a runner. Not the kind that ties on shoes and pounds the pavement. More like the kind that when the going gets tough starts to look for an exit. Not for permanent, but more as a way to clear my head.
I come by it honest. My mom is the same way. I can remember growing up that when she would get upset she would get in the car and drive, and I’ve heard countless stories about how she would “run away” when she was a little girl.
“Momma, Nelda’s run away again.”
“It’ll be alright. Just let her be.”
Around dinner time my grandmother would go to the back door and yell out that it was dinner time and they were having potatoes. Potatoes were my mom’s favorite and they always brought her running back home.
James was born to run too. He’ll get mad and hit the door. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t love David. He doesn’t love Cady. He wishes he could have a different family.
I know he doesn’t mean it. I know he just needs a minute to cool off and think through his pain, anger, and frustration.
This past weekend he got mad at David. I was busy doing something when I heard the back door slam.
“David, you need to go get him. He’s running away and he doesn’t realize it’s not safe.”
David in disbelief, “He isn’t running away.”
I went to get him myself. He was sitting in the neighbor’s yard, crying.
“Come on baby. Let’s go back in the house.”
“I’m so mad at Daddy. He was mean to me and I don’t love him anymore.”
“I know, but it isn’t safe. You have to come inside.”
“I want to see my Paw-Paw.”
“Well if you come in we can call him.”
We start walking back to the garage together. “You want to call him?”
“Not that Paw-Paw.”
“Well babe, you only have the one. Which Paw-Paw do you want to call?”
“My Paw-Paw James. The one with the name like me.”
My heart broke into a million pieces.
“I’m sorry babe, but he’s in heaven and you can’t go be with him. Let’s go inside.”
I took him inside where we sat on my bed and cuddled until he got control of his feelings. Then we talked about how it isn’t safe to leave the house and run away. Although I completely understand. I get that feeling. The wanting to run away. And especially the wanting to be with someone that has left us.
I just wish it was something as easy as potatoes that brought him back home.