Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hide And Seek

She doesn't really know how to play the game yet.

Sparkling with giddy excitement and just a touch of fearsome nerve, she darts through the house, hiding in secret spots while her daddy counts to ten. He's a good sport about it -- the conspicuous hiding places and predictable routines of this repeated game. Winking over at me while counting in his most ominous tone, I think he's the most gorgeous man alive.

From a back room she squeals with laughter, signaling her readiness to be found. Her willing seeker sets off, pretending to wonder where on earth she could be hiding. Knowing without a doubt that she's squatting -- yet again --behind the pink recliner in her sister's room, but still putting up a big wondering fuss over her elusive whereabouts. He pulls open the closet door with an impressive amount of confidence that he will find her...but to no avail. He appears comically confused. Next, the bed is peered under, blankets are ruffled, toys are tossed aside. Through nervous peals of laughter, she suddenly yells, I'm behind the chair! She jumps out, proud of her ability to stump her daddy again. He shows appropriately gushing admiration for her stealth and ingenuity, and switches gears. It's his turn to hide.

She orders him to run and hide right here! But, not willing to be beaten again, he refuses to follow her guidelines. She gives begrudging approval of his idea to hide in a place un-dictated by herself, and turns her face to a wall to count. Sometimes her one through ten goes by in a flash...sped up by excitement...and sometimes it drags on as she savors the anticipation of the hunt. Ready or not! Here I come! Where are you daddy?! Hugging a teddy bear in the crook of her arm, she moves through the house with stiffened, nervous legs. She knows it'll give her a fright when she actually finds him, but oh! the happy torture it is to wonder when, and where.

From behind a door, he jumps out as she peeks around it and they both scream their greetings. Their noise dissolves into laughter and giggles, and the game repeats.

I watch, entranced, while she practices the art of hide and seek. I can't imagine what the next several years will bring. My sweet girl -- shouting out her exact location, willing to be found in the same place time after time -- is growing into her secret self.

How much longer will she announce her hiding places? How much longer will she want to search for us knowing she's nervous to actually find us?

In that sense, is it wrong to hope she never really knows how to play the game?

10 comments:

  1. "How much longer will she announce her hiding places? How much longer will she want to search for us knowing she's nervous to actually find us?" Wow, that is a very deep thought stemming from hide-and-seek; I love it.

    This was adorable and made me smile.

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  2. What a sweet story of everyday life around the heavenly household!! And your worries of the future, I think you are creating such a great relationship with your girls, they will always feel comfortable coming to you!

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  3. Awww, so cute! I love watching my hubby play with the kids! It's funny when kids cover their eyes and are convinced that since they can't see you, you must not be able to see them!

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  4. I wish I could write like you and capture these simple moments so beautifully as you do. I've often thought about this very thing during hide and seek - how much longer before she hides herself away in her room and doesn't want us to come find her? Hopefully never... but is that even realistic? :(

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  5. I don't know why exactly, but this post made me turn off the computer and go back upstairs to read Katherine the second bedtime story I'd just denied. I think you're right, how much longer do we really have? Thanks for the reminder.

    Not to mention, that hide-and-seek game sounded thrilling...and familiar!

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  6. Delightful! I love how our girls are so often at exactly the same place. Bella has recently discovered the joy of hide and seek. She and her daddy had a rousing, giggling game tonight while I made dinner. Your description is priceless.

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  7. I love it... Your writing so beautifully captures such simple moments. So, so sweet!

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  8. This is so sweet, and, to jump on the bandwagon here, so beautifully written! The way you describe stuff is amazing, and I always feel like I have been plopped down in the middle of a memory.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?