“I found you!”
I laugh along with Jenny as I crawl out from my bedroom closet.
“Now it’s my turn to hide, Mommy! Cover your eyes and count to ten!”
I watch her run out of the room, then cover my eyes as I hear her scamper down the stairs, most likely heading for her own bedroom.
I love these nights when my husband is away on business. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man to death.
But there’s just something about the time I get with my daughter one-on-one… I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.
So after Skyping with Andrew from his hotel room we settled in to play a game of hide and seek before bedtime.
Hide and seek is by far Jenny’s favorite game, always has been. She loved peekaboo, and this is just the next step up, I guess.
She’ll play with everyone and anyone who’s around; I’ve learned to keep an eye on her when we’re out shopping, or she’ll disappear behind a clothing rack.
She’s three years old, and the game is just perfect for her.
She can count to ten (most of the time), I trust her to explore the house a little more than when she was smaller, and she loves coming up with creative places to hide.
Almost as much as she loves leaping into my arms when she’s found.
“Nine… Ten! Ready or not, here I come!” I shout, as I uncover my eyes and creep into the hallway.
As I walk down the stairs I can hear a distant giggling, unsuppressed by whatever she’s using to cover herself.
“Hmm, I don’t see Jenny… I wonder where she could be. Maybe I should check the-“
My loud musings die as I pass the entryway to our home. The front door is open, revealing the darkness of the outside world, and my skin goes numb.
I have to lean into the wall to steady myself as I spy the fake rock that usually sits next to the porch, now upturned and empty on the stone next to our welcome mat,
the large muddy footprints marring my white carpet…
I am torn from my shock, and my skin goes numb, as my daughter’s gleeful shriek rings out down the hallway behind me.
“You found me!”