"I just want to move as far away from you two as I can!"
With those words, those fourteen words that when on their own are powerless but combined in just that way are one of the most powerful tools in a child's arsenal, I felt my world tilt and spin and my stomach cramp up. I felt my muscles tense up, my eyes started stinging and my heart just....broke.
It's not the first time I've heard them. I'm relatively certain it won't be the last time I hear them. But that doesn't make those words any less powerful. It also never changes my response.
Oh, honey. *sigh* Where are we going to go? 'Cuz you know that I have to go with you, right? You are one of the biggest and most important parts of my world, and I need you around to make my world happy. There's always more smiles than there are tears when you're around, you know. And how do you think my life would be if I didn't get my daily hugs and laughs? So yeah. Wherever you go, ya gotta make sure they've got room for both of us.
And that's usually the point when the words that tumble out through the sobs are all about how unfair it is that we make him do everything and yet never let him do anything. How he never gets to just play and he always has to do his chores first. How he doesn't always like us or his brother, and so why should he have to spend all of his time with us? And when I point out that I never get to play and I always have to work first, and I don't always like the attitudes of him and his brother or their father, so why do I have to spend all of my time with them? Without exception, I get the same answer back.
Well maybe YOU should run away, too, then! *sniffle, sniffle, sob, sob*
I've found that if I just sit there quietly at that point, he'll figure out on his own that running away just ain't gonna work. For either of us. And then he remembers that I love him. And that he loves me. The sobs start to calm into mere tears, until they eventually just stop. Before long, he's trying not to giggle over the mental image of running away from home with his mama tagging along behind him.
Doesn't stop me from shedding a few tears over the whole thing later, though.