Kinda Crunchy Mom

April 29, 2008

Hide and Seek

Filed under: Mama notes — by mcadmom @ 11:31 am
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Olivia is obsessed with having her nails painted.  She asks to do it every day, and when she washes her hands she’ll say, “My polish come off?”.  I have to reassure her that it will hold up through a handwashing.    It fun, but a little unnerving that she is growing up so fast.

I feel badly that Olivia doesn’t have a huge group of kids to play with.  When I was growing up, I had scads of cousins my own age, and later on, lived in a neighborhood teeming with kids.  Although I like the country life, it is isolating and lonely, and sometimes I try to recreate the experience of having a gang to pal around with.  Lately, I’ve been trying to teach her how to play hide and seek.

She is a seeker.  She pinches her eyes closed, counts to ten and then runs to find me.  When she discovers me crouched behind the bathroom door she giggles and shouts and then it’s her turn.  This is where we have a disconnect…

I close my eyes and count after telling Olivia to run and hide.  I can hear her shuffle off behind the couch, but then I hear her little feet shuffle back to me.  When I say, “ten,” I open my eyes, only to find her standing in front of me, grinning.  Regardless of what I say, the cycle repeats, each time we laugh sooner and louder, until Olivia doesn’t even bother hiding anymore–she just starts to chuckle when I start to count.  It is hilariously absurd and pointless, and it happens every time.

So,  Jamie and I decide to teach her together.  Jamie counts, and I hold Olivia and hide in her closet.  She is so quiet, there in the dark.  As we hear Jamie rustling around “looking” for us, I can feel her warm applesauce breath on my face.  We wait for a long time.

After a couple of minutes, I am ten years old.  I remember hiding, finding a prime spot and knowing that it would take a while to be found.  And then I remember how, after hearing the voices fade away, I felt a twinge of fear–would I ever be found?  What if my hiding spot was so good that the seeker could never find me?  Then the agony of decision–stand up and ruin the game or possibly be forgotten.

Sometimes I feel like I can hide everything about myself, and live knowing that those hidden parts will not be discovered.  But then, the fear that I will somehow be lost creeps in.  I am holding my breath in my hiding spot, waiting to be found and dreading it at the same time. 

But somehow, the people in my life find me anyway.  Hiding in the closet, I hear Jamie say, “Where are my double sweets?” and he flicks on the light.  Olivia’s silenced laughter erupts out of her mouth as Jamie opens the closet door.  He scoops both of us up in his arms and we all laugh together. 

Somehow, I am found.

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