My daughter has run away twice in the past two weeks.
Now "running away" might be a bit of a hyperbole, but I can't keep the dang girl in the yard. She's five and she thinks she's independent--it's a constant, epic battle of the wills around here. She met a little girl down the street and will pretty much do ANYTHING to try and go down to her house. This wouldn't be so bad, but she's got this damn scooter . . . and well, I swear she like flies when she gets on it.
Tonight, my son was going to walk his friend halfway home--it's like a block and he's almost nine. I think this is a reasonable thing for an almost-nine-year-old to get to do. He and his friend leave out the front door, and moments later, I hear that ominous click that the garage door makes. I head out the front door and spot a little pink shirt flying down the street, AND THEN SHE CROSSES THE STREET!!
At this point, I am mad and scared and a little more mad. I can see her, I know she is ok, but she is all the way down the dang street. So I jump in the car (there is no way I could have caught her without vehicular assistance) and drive down the street to get her. I roll down my window, yell her name in my meanest mommy voice, and get out to load her and her scooter into my car. There was a very docile-looking refugee family standing by their vehicle watching as all this is taking place. I'm sure they thought I was kidnapping her, but they did not call the police.
I drove her home while she cried in the backseat. I have hidden her scooter and she is grounded from dessert. (You have to take away what they love.) We are all safe and sound.
And I know this will not be the last of my battles with her. She is strong-willed, creative, unique, and passionate. She's better than any character I could ever create.