The Screen-Free Quarantine – Day 29: Guerrilla Momfare Hide and Seek
Every morning, I’m thankful for my coffee. A brush with scarcity will do that to you.
I think every so often, it will be good to consider the habits and traditions that have been created during this coronavirus outbreak that I would like to keep when this is all over. Certainly, there are many things that I cannot wait to get rid of (homeschooling), but there are routines and activities that our family has adopted since this whole quarantine began, that I never want to discontinue.
One of these new traditions is a nightly game of hide and seek.
We live in Florida, where the Coronavirus runs rampant and The Florida Man lives on in our hearts and minds (and on social media). WWE is considered essential by our state’s governing body, and perhaps when taking all of this in consideration, it’s best to stay home, even when there isn’t a deadly virus spreading among us.
At #thebookfarm, we have now added hide and seek to our evening routine. We live on 3 acres, most of them wooded, and our home is surrounded by vacant lots, except for 1 neighbor. So we have what seems like an endless forest to run and play in. Mike has taken to stamping out trails on the weekends, by hand or with a weed whacker. Most of the trails are already pretty worn by wildlife, we have many bears and deer out here, which makes for a fun hiding experience, when you are crouched behind a tree, holding your breath, and you realize that a bear has once crouched behind the same tree and left a little offering as a reminder.
The kids eat their dinners quicker and do their chores without complaining when they know that a friendly game of hide and seek is on the agenda.
I am the resident laundry manager, and I hate that the kids have learned that they should camouflage themselves for this event. They run upstairs before dinner and put on their most forest-like attire. Since I hate washing twice the clothing every week, I will not change my own attire for this event. Most days, I wear Kasie’s old rainbow tie dye T-shirts. Because, social distancing means that I don’t have to wear a bra or use an iron. Right?
Anyway, I’ve been pretty easy to find. Bright, rainbow shirts are EASY to spot in the woods. So are glitter rubber boots. They are great at protecting against critters and biting things that thrive in abundance in Florida, but I pretty much lose every night because I’m an easy target.
Last night, I had a great idea and I totally swept every round of hide and seek and am now the reigning hide and seek champion. I was crouching behind a tree, and I looked at my colorful shirt. I tried to make my body smaller behind the skinny oak that I chose to cower behind. I’ve been trying to make my body smaller since I was 16. It’s not working. I could hear a kid walking away from me, toward another family member that had been noisier getting to their hiding place. Since the footsteps were headed away from me, I knew I had time.
Yesterday morning, I had decided to be a tiny bit more formal than usual because I had a work meeting at 3pm. I had put on a sports bra under my tie dye shirt and leggings. In a moment of sheer genius or poor judgement, I ripped off my fluorescent shirt and ran from my hiding place.
I dropped the shirt near the trail, hoping that it would be a distraction for the kids and ran, shirtless and free deeper into the woods and away from the main trail.
The rules of hide and seek require that you stay near enough to the trail where you can see the seeker when he or she comes looking for you. So, I ducked behind some brush and got as low to the ground as I could.
I sat there for about 15 minutes…and then I started itching. My stomach began burning. My back was on fire. POISON IVY! Oh now. I tried to breath through the stinging and itching. Certain that nobody was coming, I stood up and itched the parts of me that were now on fire. Served me right for taking my shirt off in the woods!
After another 10 minutes, the itching settled down a bit, or my tolerance of it kicked in, I don’t know which, and I was able to shrink myself down into a hole in the underbrush.
Jacob walked past me. I heard his feet crunching in the dead leaves that cover the ground first. Then I saw him. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
I went undetected on his approach, but from behind me, he turned and saw my pale, sweaty back, as I huddled in a ball. When I looked up, the look on his face was a mixture of surprise and disgust.
“You took off your shirt!??!”
Like, how dare a Mom actually play the game to win it? Who does that?
And that’s how I ruled the game of Hide and Seek at #thebookfarm. There are no pictures of this part of the evening.
When all of this mess is over, I hope that we don’t forget to play hide and seek out back in the woods. Someday, when they bring their significant others to meet us, we’ll all run out there like we did today and hide deep in the leaves and bear poop, listening.
I never want to stop playing in the woods with my family. And I’m thankful that Coronavirus taught me how.