Hide and Seek Smackdown
“Rest and play are as vital to our health as nutrition and exercise.” ~Brené Brown
I hear the kids bounding through the house, laughing and screaming and saying “Gotcha!” In a flurry, Abby runs into my quiet bedroom, ducks down by my bedside and puts a pillow on top of herself. The fan blows the door closed, making a light click sound. After a minute Abby whispers “Is she in here?” and when I say “no” she stands up, eyes darting around the room, debating where else she might hide. Suddenly, the door flings open and her big sister appears: “AHHHH!” Abby shrieks and throws herself facedown onto my bed, covering her face. Her sister proceeds to smack her with a pair of their little brother’s pajama pants. Abby then grabs the pants and runs out of the room. At the doorway, she pauses and laughs “It’s like life or death,” she giggles and trots away.
I have no idea what game they are playing. All I know is that all three kids are getting along right now. No arguments. Just laughter and good old fashioned fun. Play on, kids, I think. I continue tapping away on my laptop, attempting to get all my thoughts onto the screen in hopes that it will clear my mind of all its clutter. (It’s always so dang busy up there in this brain of mine!)
I hear happy screams and shouts at the other end of the house. In a moment, Abby bursts through my bedroom door again and flails herself onto the bed dramatically. This time little Ben runs in and smacks her with the pajama pants (which are now ripped down the middle, the two legs only attached at the waistband now). “I don’t know why I keep coming in here,” she muses. “It’s a dead end.” She grabs the pajama pants that have been left on the bed, laughs, and takes off after the three year old who has silently slipped away to find his own hiding spot.
Soon, Daddy takes a break from washing dishes and joins the fun. I hear the girls explaining this newly made up game to him and then I hear his heavy footsteps rapidly banging around the house in pursuit of them all. “I’m gonna get you!” he playfully threatens.
In a moment, all three kids burst through my door, slamming it behind them right onto Daddy’s face. “Ow!” he declares and chuckles. The kids scurry into my bathroom and slam that door too. Daddy charges through to the bathroom and bellows “Bwahahahaha!!!” Everyone is laughing as Daddy takes turns “tagging” them with the mangled pajama pants, declaring “I gotcha! And I gotcha! And I gotcha!”
After they all catch their breath again, Dad says “Okay, who’s ready to watch a family movie together?!?” The kids all cheer, not expecting that. (I, on the other hand, would rather just sit and type away in the quiet solitude of my bedroom. Times to myself are so precious.)
I debate inside myself for a moment, trying to weigh the pros and cons of my choice, but eventually I close up my laptop and we all head to the couch. I will most certainly fall asleep during the flick— I always do— but at least we’ll all be together, snuggled up under blankets. And, at least this particular time, on this particular day, knowing I have already purged myself of most of my mind clutter today and now feel ready to engage in real life again, that is more important than a few more minutes alone.
These are the moments to tune in to. These are the moments to remember.
[This is Day 10 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. This year my focus is on the role of STORY in our lives. Click here to get to the landing page with links to each post for this series.]
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What about you?
What is one of life’s simple pleasures that you enjoy? Can you describe it in detail? What did it look, sound, feel, taste, and smell like?
Please share your story in the comment section below.