My six-year old daughter doesn’t get the concept of hide-and-seek. As I count down from ten, she giggles her way to her hiding place, proudly announcing her location once “hidden.” Roaming through the house, I pretend it’s impossible to find her while all the while she shrieks in delight, “I’m right here, Mommy! Right HERE!”
She doesn’t get the concept of most games we play. If it’s cards, she shows me the hand she’s supposed to keep hidden while peeking at mine. In board games, she moves her marker whatever amount of squares she sees fit, rather than following the number rolled on the dice. With tag, I’m always “it” no matter how many times I tag her.
We play on and I bask in the glow of her wonder-filled gaze, wondering if, in the end, it’s me who doesn’t get the concept. She doesn’t care about the rules or expectations of the game, she’s just happy to have some quality time…with me. She runs innocent through the joys of life, happiest when we’re enjoying it together. Me, I get bent out of shape when things don’t go as planned. Maybe I need to learn from her.
There will come a day when she learns to play hide-and-seek without drawing attention to her whereabouts. I’ll have to teach her not to cheat at cards and board games. And one day she’ll discover that she has to be “it” when someone tags her. But through it all, I don’t want to lose sight of the ultimate purpose behind these times—to be with her, enjoying her company, treasuring her presence.
Lord, help me to value time with my children. Sometimes I focus so much on how things are supposed to be that I forget the purpose behind it all. Remind me how few in number these days will be. Soon enough my children will be grown. Let me enjoy these fleeting yet precious moments while I can.