A lot of big stuff happened at our house this week.
Easton (age 5) learned to skip.
Eliana (age 12) got a part in the school play.
Both girls started piano lessons for the first time (not counting lessons at home with us).
And Emma (age 8) made a very big decision. She was running away. Things just weren't going her way. To be honest, I can't even remember what set her off. Generally it's the really grievous things like when someone smiles at her and tells her she looks pretty, or when I refuse to help her with a really challenging homework assignment (such as basic addition) because I'm busy reading to Easton. Enough is enough, really.
She demanded a suitcase. I calmly suggested that if she was running away she would need to learn to fend for herself. She stomped off and found one without my help and started packing. The only problem was that we were headed out to eat for dinner to celebrate her 8th birthday. She certainly didn't want to miss that, so she informed us all that she would be leaving in the middle of the night . . . after her special dinner.
As I tucked her in that evening, I let her know that I would really miss her, and that I hoped she packed a toothbrush (she hadn't). She burst into tears, gave me a big hug, and said she didn't want to run away from home after all. (Phew!) We had a good talk about asking God to help us manage our anger, and she went to sleep peacefully. In case you're having deja vu, yes, this has happened before in the Imes household. That story, too, had a happy ending. Running away must be an 8-year-old rite of passage.
A few days later we were getting the house ready for dinner guests when I noticed Emma's suitcase, still packed and ready in the corner. I suggested we unpack it since she had decided to stay. Imagine my delight to discover that not only had she packed a jacket and a pair of pajamas, she had packed her Bible as well. I might be a horrible Mom sometimes, hard to live with and terribly unfair, but I must be doing something right! In any case, it was a good sign. If that's all she takes with her when she leaves home, she'll be well prepared for anything that comes her way.