Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Runaway Son

I did not mean to disappear for over a week.   Last week was Spring Break.  It was nice having a break from school and all of our activities for awhile.  It gave us a little reminder of why we love summer vacation.   

I have been debating on if I should write this post.  We have been dealing with something the last couple of months with our son that has been kind of frustrating.  I decided to share about it, because there might be others out there dealing with the same thing.   When he was much younger, he would inappropriately run  when he would get upset, anxious or angry.  He was not always aware of his surroundings, and would occasionally do something that affected his safety like run in the road.   For many years running was no longer a problem.   A couple of years ago we had a couple of instances, but they stopped as suddenly as they started.  A few months ago, though, he started up again.  This time it is a big different.  Now he only wants to leave when it is time to do homework.  He has always hated doing homework, but now that he is in high school it is not something he can get out of. 

This latest phase starting in February, early March.  It started out of nowhere.  We just got back from the store, and he took off while I was bringing the bags.  When he did not come in after several minutes, I went out to look for him.  I did not see him near the house, so I got in the car to go look for him. It has been long enough that he had enough time to leave the neighborhood. I found him running down a busy street near our house.   Luckily he was coming up to our road which turns off the busy street.  I was able to get him back in the neighborhood, and made sure he went back home.  I asked him where he thought he was going.. He said he had no idea. he just wanted to go.  I don't think he would have gone very far.  He had no money on him, and he is hungry quite frequently. It was also cold outside, and he only had a sweatshirt.   A couple of days later he tired to do it again.  This time though it was 10 p.m. at night, and very dark outside.  I was able to block the door, and talk him out of it.  He has tried a couple of other times at night, but so far we have stopped him from leaving.  For awhile his sister was hiding his shoes and coat at night, so he could not leave when no one was watching.    A month ago, when he was trying to leave, I got a hold of his shoes before he did.   I put them in the dirty clothes hamper, a place where I knew he would never look.  He put on one of old shoes. A shoe that is now 2 sizes too small.  His sister had hidden the other shoe. He told me he was going to leave anyway.  I put on my own shoes and followed him.  It was actually kind of comical watching him limp down the street in one shoe that did not fit.  He did not make it very far.  By the time he had gone about 5 houses, his feet were cold and he realized why it was not a good idea to run away in one shoe.  

The other day, Kara and I came home and realized he was not in the house.  He knew that he was going to have to do his homework when I got back home, so he took off before I got there.   Kara and I jumped in the car, to go look for him.   I found him a few minutes later at the end of a cul de sac looking at the busy street.  This time he was far from the traffic, and was  just looking at it.  I am pretty sure he knew we would see him where he was standing, which is why he picked the location that he did.    Kara got out of the car to go talk to him.  I stayed in the car just in case he would take off if he saw me coming.  When they started walking back towards the car, I thought maybe she had talked him into riding back to the house with us.  He walked right past the car.   He decided he wanted to run home instead.   I followed behind to make sure he actually did go home.   There is a neighbor who doesn't know us very well.  I guess my driving slow behind my son, made him nervous.  When he saw Kyle running by the house, he opened his back door asking Kyle if he is alright..  I tried to assure the neighbor  that everything was fine, that I was just making sure my son was actually going home.  I don't think he believed me though. He continued to stand there watching.   About this time Kyle became winded.  He stood there bent over trying to catch his breath.  I waited for him to start walking again, before I moved the car.   When Kyle  did it again  in front of the neighbor's  house, I could see the neighbor watching now out the front window.   While I am grateful to know there are neighbors out there that are keeping an eye out, I am also a bit annoyed that he thought I was trying to abduct my own runaway son.    Once we got back home, I told Kyle about the neighbor watching him to make sure he was safe.  He had no idea that it even happened. He did not hear or see the neighbor Then he said..  maybe we should go over and apologize for worrying him.  At this point we were both cold and tired, so I suggested we tell him the next time we see him.  I also told Kyle the best thing to do.. Is NOT TO DO IT AGAIN! 

Hopefully he will take my advice.  I also told him if he really feels like running, how about doing it safely but running laps around the outside of the house.  He likes that idea, we will see what happens from here. 

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