Young Trouble

Dec 2, 2019

Taking my younger siblings and running away. When things are that bad at home…There’s your father, there’s your mother and there’s your oldest sister who all stick together and everybody else is in trouble all the time. So I used to feel bad about it. So I took the little red wagon, packed the little ones in, got my brother after me, put the blankets, got me a big jar, made Kool-Aid and took extra packs with me. Because I can get water from the park, take the peanut butter and the bread and off we go. I told them, “Oh, we’re going to the park.” We went to Lincoln Terrace Park with the intention of never going back again. But every night from Eastern Parkway, I could see my father coming in the entrance. I made sure to stay near the entrance in case we get into trouble, we can get out quick.

And in the meantime, play handball, have fun, let them rest, toilet them, do whatever I have to do for them because my father, my sister behind them, “You’re in trouble.” I didn’t care. So what, we got out for a little while, they punished me for a couple of weeks at a time. I couldn’t go anywhere and as soon as they let me out again, I did it again. I was helping, I thought so. I did it about three or four times.

Then I realized, they weren’t my children. I had no right to take them away from my mother. Not that she couldn’t defend herself against our father, but you get tired of fussing and fighting all the time. But I realized I was hurting her more than I was helping the kids and me. So I stopped. I was 10 years old. I was 10. The siblings I took with me were eight and a half, seven, seven, six, five and four. I left the twins at home. There’s eight of us.

And I’d take them to the toilet and the bathroom by Lincoln Terrace. They had a nice bathroom. And while they’re awake, stand up so I can play handball. I needed some fun too. We’d camp out from at least 12 o’clock until whenever my father walked through the park, about eight o’clock at night. Because he came to get us if he didn’t. I had no plans to go back home. I had peanut butter to keep us for a week. Big jars and bread.