A while back, my son and I made up a game where we would hide from various imaginary monsters. We would get a blanket or sheet, sit on the floor, and listen closely to sounds that weren’t there.
“I hear something outside!” I would say.
“What?” Squish would ask.
“A robot!” I’d shriek, and we’d both dive under the blanket until the threat was gone.
And we’d do this over and over and over again. Squish always had too much fun with it to want to stop.
Over the past months, the game has evolved, with Squish usually choosing the monsters from which we flee. Robot (and his meaner brother, bad robot), pirate, bad choo choo, spider, shark, bad puppy, monster, bad monkey–all of these villains and more attacked without success during our game. We became very skilled at hiding from these creatures.
This morning, the game changed again.
“I hear sumpin,” Squish said.
“What do you hear?” I asked, feigning fright.
“I hear… BAD CHOO CHOO!”
We screamed and giggled and jumped under the covers.
“Daddy?” Squish said. “Where are you?”
He couldn’t see me in the darkness beneath the blanket.
“I’m right here beside you,” I told him, repeating words I had said many times.
As we hid there in the darkness, with silence closing in around us, my son said to me:
“I’M the bad choo choo!”
And he jumped at me with a fierce growl.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so proud.