My Little Runaway

Many family members were jam-packed in our small, upstairs apartment to celebrate Mark’s fourth birthday.

The adults were enjoying each other’s company and the toddlers, conversing about the latest family happenings, and having a bite to eat, of course.

When it came time for Mark to blow out the candles on the cake, suddenly, someone asked: “Where’s Mark?” He was nowhere to be found in the apartment, so panic set in, and we all went our separate ways looking for him. Out on the sidewalk, some went east, some went west, while others stayed and searched in the front and back yards. With our searching in every direction, and still no sign of Mark, my panic was raging.

Thankfully, not too long afterward, someone shouted “Here he is.” He was in the yard all along…asleep under the giant elephant ear plant. My little man had had a busy day while scaring the stuffing out of the family!

Years later, when he was about eight, he was upset with me and told me that he was running away. Well, I said: “You haven’t eaten dinner yet so wait a few minutes, and I’ll fix you something to eat to take along.” I packed a few things he liked, tied it all up in a hobo style bandana, and tied it to a stick.

Off the little brat went down the street. My heart was pounding as I watched him turn right at the street corner and walk out of sight. I kept looking out the window hoping to get sight of him, and about twenty minutes later, there he was sitting on the curb in front of our home.

I guess he figured home wasn’t such a bad place after all, and his runaway days were over.

Sharon Benson Smith is a member of the writing class at Norwalk Senior Center.