This is my daughter. The three of us are playing hide and seek in the back yard. She’s not very good. In fact, the dog was better, and he didn’t know that he was playing.
For the past two weeks, Atlanta was in the grips of the Snowpaclypse. We had been hammered by a total of about five inches of the devilish white stuff. The roads were shut down. Bridges collapsed and orphanages burst into flames.
Needless to say they shut down the schools. And with her older brother and sister around, the Uma and I didn’t have as much us time as usual.
Last week they went back. The sun came out and the temperature went up and my daughter suggested that we go outside. That’s us, after she had picked some flowers but before we ran laps between the basketball hoop and the front gate. Then came the horrible hopscotch game on our patio… how bad? Neither of us know how to play, and it’s been so long since I’ve seen a hopscotch whatever you call it (ring? diamond? square? seriously, what is that thing?) that I didn’t know how to draw one.
Hide and seek was her idea. She told me where she was going to hide, and then I counted, and she hid there, which is very considerate of her. Notice how she only hide the back 3/5th of her body? Also very considerate. It was one of the most considerate games of hide and seek that I’ve ever played.
When it was my time to hide, she told me where. Walked me right over to the tree and said, “You go there,” pointing at the place behind it. Considering the sheer number of places that I could hide in the back yard, it nice of her to streamline the process for me.
But life is cruel and nice little girls often finish last. I ran the other way as she hid her eyes. Just to make sure she didn’t peek, I switched hiding places while she counted between 10 and 20 – an adventure in itself.
She said, “Ready or not, here I come!” The dog raced past her, knocking into her thigh. I know this because I was spying from my hiding place behind the bushes. And because I’m a mean, mean daddy, I edged around, and ran to a tree in the back yard. That’s hiding place number three.
I had a lot of time to think as she walked around the yard swatting at the dog. I thought about how bad she was at hiding. I don’t think she will ever be good at it. She gets that from her mother. My wife wears jewelry that clinks and jingles. The human equivelant of a cat with a bell on its collar. So, my little girl will never be a ninja, or a sniper or anything even remotely stealthy.
But then there’s this. That’s her on the bed later that night. That’s her little foot coming up dynamic, glorious kick. I think she could be a super hero. A non-stealthy super hero, that maybe throws heads of cabbages at people before she Karate Kid kicks the hell out of them.
She finally caught me in that game of hide and seek. After all, there was no base. The only way not to lose is to leave home. Still, I made her work for it, because I’m a mean, mean Daddy. I ran in tight circles followed by her and the dog. Then I lost my breath. Uma 1, Daddy 0.
So it was a pretty good day.