Tonight I introduced Isaac and Isaiah to the Tickle Monster Game, which I used to play with Caleb and Eli. (And which I write about in my book. Have I mentioned the new book today?) I armed them both with rubber swords and told them I would be hiding somewhere in my bedroom. When I heard them giggling in the doorway, I let out a low, tickly-type growl.
More giggling. They took a step inside the room. I jumped up from behind the bed and roared. They screamed. Isaac shot out of the room, arms raised above his head in terror and delight, rubber sword flailing. Isaiah turned to escape, and ran straight into the doorjamb with a thump of his head.
He lay there and wailed. I picked him up to look for blood. There was a bump and a scratch, but no gusher. I loved him for a minute, and then he demanded to be put down so we could resume Tickle Monster. I put him down. I gave him his sword, and he left the bedroom under his own, wobbly power.
I hid again. I heard them approach the doorway, giggling. I growled. Isaiah growled back, and came charging through the doorway, a fierce snarl on his face. I jumped out from behind a dresser, aiming to scare him, but he didn’t even slow down, he simply adjusted course and charged into my legs, sword flapping. I picked him up, deposited him onto the bed, and commenced to tickling. Isaac came roaring in next, demanding that I let his brother go.
And so we played until we were all sweaty-headed and out of breath — hiding, seeking, attacking and counter-attacking, all of us laughing deep from our bellies. I remembered those evenings with Caleb and Eli, and was thankful for them, and for these littlest ones, and for whatever days we have left to run with abandon through this house, this sanctuary, this home.