What To Bring When You Run Away

A gray plastic sword, dented, from an old Halloween knight costume. Blue blankie. His shiny black treasure box, probably with a few dollars in it. The mozzarella and tomato sandwich I made him for lunch.

This morning, I learned what my ten-year-old would pack if he were running away.

“I’m leaving forever!” he screamed, brushing past me, sword in hand.

“Or…” he pointed dramatically to the basement stairs, “until he is gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. I never want to see him again!”

The boys had apparently had a fight.

“I’m out of here!” he yelled even louder, stuffing blue blankie into his backpack before glaring back up at me, “How far do you think a ten-year-old can get? Huh? Huh? How far?”

I sighed, “Not very far.”

So, he ran into the garage, grabbed his electric scooter, and took a lap around the block, yelling over his shoulder. “I’m leaving forever!”

I heard the garage door closing about a minute later. The runaway returned.

“Time for school, honey.”


Out came the sword, blue blankie, and the treasure box. He stomped them back up to his room. Then, backpack zipped, he climbed into the car as if nothing had happened.

It was his silent teenage brother who still fumed.

There’s Gonna Be a Rumble

They are not the Jets and the Sharks. Not the Crips and Bloods. Not even the Bad News Bears.

You know you have nerdy, good boys when they return from the park, flush from the glory of a playground fight, and the story they tell goes like this.

“There were some kids at the park, and they were total jerks. We were having a perfectly fine snowball fight with them, but then they pushed our little guy.”

“Everyone knows you can’t push the little guy.”

“So we started yelling.”

“And did you hear that one guy? He didn’t even know what a pronoun is!”

I know! And when I asked him what an adjective is, he said ‘person, place or thing.’”

I know! What a loser!”

“And they said they were 14, but I bet they were only 12.”

I know! They were totally lying!”

“’Person, place or thing’… Ha! What a jerk.”

“And mom,” said the little guy, “a tree fell right next to us.”

“A big tree.”