Yesterday, Ryan ran away from home.
Stu had scolded Ryan for spilling water all over his library books, and then got more vocal when Ryan’s next impulse was to try to play with water in every room of the house.
Not enjoying being yelled at, Ryan announced “I’m going away now.” He put on his shoes, said goodbye, and hung a left out the front door.
I decided to follow him from a distance. From in front of my house I watched him until he was just out of view, and then walked at his pace.
When he reached the end of our street, Ryan sat down on the curb. I lurked from behind a car three houses away, watching, trying to interpret his mood. At first he appeared to be singing to himself. When he folded himself forwards and started rocking, I moved in.
“Hey buddy,” I said as I approached, “Can I sit with you?”
“I am going away,” he said sulkily. “I am going to a place where there is no water.”
“Oh yeah? Where’s that?”
“I am going to Venus, but I can not find it.”
This is in line with Ryan’s preferred method of handling temptation. To stop his impulse to adjust the volume on our computer, he has stuck 20 layers of tape over the knob on the speaker. To reduce the chances he will shove a crayon through an HVAC vent, he prefers to color in my sewing room, which does not have a vent on the floor. And to keep himself from throwing toys into the toilet, he used to weigh down the toilet lid with a trashcan.
We talked about how difficult it is to find Venus in the daytime sky, and about how far away the desert is, and about how much I would miss him if he went so far away, and about how most of his body is made of water, and about how if he went someplace with no water he would die.
“I am tired. Let’s go home,’ he sulked.
When we got home we spent some time coloring in my sewing room and drank some juice, and everything was ok.