1. Talk about a time when you were younger and you embarrassed your parents in public, the one that still shames you.
2. We exert control over ourselves and others in many ways. Talk about a time when you lost that control. This can go beyond the obvious emotional control into things like willpower, tidiness, self-discipline, physical prowess – any time that you felt your autonomy slipping away.
— The Scintilla Project’s Day 14 prompts
I wasn’t really that embarrassing as a kid — I asked my Mom about stories where I embarrassed her and she only came up with a story about visiting an Indian store when I was 4 and complaining about the stink, so not much to tell there.
The real story is the other one, though…
Not exactly done in public, I once tried to run away from home. It was 1987 and I was mad at my mother. Don’t expect me to remember why, though — I was only 4 then. But somewhere inside that child’s mind of mine, I’d had it. I refused to suffer my mother’s tyrannical ways — I was running away.
So, clad in my jammies, I packed my favourite toys and my little brother — I shouldn’t leave him to deal with this injustice, after all — I waited for the perfect opportunity, and around 9 or 10 PM we stole away into the night!
The Master Plan
I had it all figured out. My buddy lived two doors down (I think his name was Jesse), and this was my logic:
- his parents were nice
- he had a Sega Master System, which was absent from my life
- I was sure we’d all get along just fine
So after making the long trek to our next-door neighbour’s next-door neighbour, I knocked on the door and Jesse’s mom opened it with one of the most confused looks I can ever remember seeing in my life. I promptly explained to her that we were running away and asked whether we could stay there, instead.
In the next few minutes, she called my house, my Mom came over in a whirlwind equal parts apologetic worry and embarrassed fury, and my Mom took me home to what was historically one of the worst spankings of my life.
So, lesson learned — there’d be no more running away in the Palmer household. It’s not like I had any money to make it very far, and it didn’t look like anyone else wanted to take care of me, so it just wasn’t the smart play.
I would’ve definitely been the cutest runaway ever, though!