The other day my oldest daughter was mad at me and informed me that she was leaving. Luckily, she wasn't going far. She intended to move into the playhouse in our backyard. I explained my concerns about this plan - mostly safety and weather-related issues. Ultimately, we settled our differences, and she agreed to stay.
Later that night I was unpacking her "runaway bag" as she snored in her bed just a few feet away from me. I simultaneously chuckled quietly and got tears in my eyes as I discovered what she felt was needed for her journey. It was a little peek into her 10-year-old mind. She had packed a Taylor Swift t-shirt (a no-brainer), two pairs of underwear (that's my clean girl), three books and a flashlight (my studious girl), four dollars (not going to get far on this), a small red feather boa (?), and a bag of Popcorn Booty (breakfast of champions).
As I looked over at her angelic sleeping face, and her mile-long legs poking out of the comforter, I realized that she was still my baby - a little girl stuck in that awkward place between childhood and the independence that goes hand-in-hand with growing up. I brushed the hair away from her forehead and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
I'm sure there will be more "runaway bags" in our future, but as long as they contain clean underwear, books, and of course, the requisite feather boa, they will always make me smile.