My first thought about packing though is not related to vacation or accommodation. My first thought is about the time I packed to run away.
I was in Grade 6 or 7 at the time. I had decided I'd had enough of this life of mine and I was going on the road. I'm not sure if I planned to join the circus or just ride the rails from town to town, but I wasn't staying here.
I grabbed a duffel bag and started packing essentials.
- A Barbie and all her clothes.
- All my Noddy books.
- My Champ Bear Care Bear.
- My pajamas.
- My blanket and my Scottie softy doll.
I knew that I couldn't just waltz down the stairs with my luggage and expect my mother not to notice. Instead, I developed a plan. I would hide my bag and come back for it when school was underway. I went to my bedroom window, cranked it open, and let the bag drop from my hands into the brush in front of the house. I heard a satisfying *thump* of it landing in the bushes and turned to go on about my morning like nothing was going on.
I managed to take a step before I heard my mother yell. My mother had an ability to - just by the tone of her voice - express her great displeasure in one word. That day, it was my name. I walked downstairs slowly and peered into the kitchen.
She stood there. Disapprovingly. Weight on one foot, hand on one hip. Staring at me.
"What did I just see going past the window?" Sh*t. Busted.
She made me go get the bag from outside, take it upstairs, unpack, and then get ready to go to school. I was grounded for a week too. She told me that next time, I should remember my toothbrush.