I found a hiding place. Just for a moment, one solitary moment, I found it. For a brief moment I sat down in the midst of clutter, a stained mop bucket, dirty clothes, and a broken down baby stroller. While all of the noise of the evening was roaring in the distance I got to hear an awesome song on the radio. Well, part of it anyway, before I got caught.
Little Miss Love walked in. Short and squatty, she bumbled on in and joined me in my underground cave. With my back against the washing machine my song was abruptly interrupted in the middle of the crescendo. I was immediately transformed, a singing sensation turned book narrator.
My one person fan club did not care that my singing may not be so swell. She did not seem to notice that my out-of-date dark grey sweat pants did not match my twenty year old hunter green sweatshirt. As Olivia made her nest in my lap she handed me her admission ticket, a worn out, beat to death, hand me down book.
I’d read this book a million times to her and many of her brothers and sisters as well. Worn around the edges, it has survived moisture, markers, and all manner of mishandling. Many of the pages are as bleak as the top of my head, which Olivia does not seem to be concerned with. Just me and the book was all that she cared about.
As she wiggled and wriggled, we squeaked the rubber ducky on the front of the book, and multiple times on every page. As a riding horse next to the clothes basket looked me in the eye, we finished our brief story. As quickly as she swept into my hiding place she retreated out the door, book in hand.
The song was over. The story was over. Alone again, I looked around to see a motionless toy dinosaur across the laundry room lying under my apron hanging on the shelf that said “Daddy” across the front. Amidst all of this clutter, I was glad that someone found me hiding.
She had made her mark. I guess maybe I had made mine, too.
Written by David Steen, with God smiling, November 30, 2009.