Whispered giggles floated down the pitch black hallway and a thud sounded as a child’s hushed voice said, “Ow, my knee.” More whispered giggles in the distance, then a moment later . . . total silence.
The eerie silence made me completely aware I was all alone. Where could they be? My knees were killing me, but I was determined to track them down. I rounded the corner into the bathroom and heard a stifled giggle. Reaching out with my hand I grabbed someone’s hair while touching another’s limb. Laughter erupted from the entire group.
“What took you so long, Mom?” “Where have you been?” “We’ve been stuck in here, on top of each other FOREVER!” “Somebody turn the lights on so we can get out of here.” With that the lights came on and everyone began untangling themselves so we could play it again!
One of our commitments to our children as they were growing up, was to have Family Night on a certain day almost every week. Family night was a special time to focus on the kids and things they wanted to do. We would play games, eat pizza (or some other favorite meal), watch a movie together — you get the idea.
“Sardines” was the name of their favorite game and was played with all the lights out in the house. ( Needless to say we played it when the all the children were old enough to participate without being scared.) Once the lights were out, we would pick one person to go and hide. Then we would all (including Don & I) silently crawl around the house looking for the family member who was hiding. If one of us found them we had to be quiet and remain there with them until all the others found us. Hence, the name Sardines — we were all crowded into one hiding place — sometimes stacked on top of one another.
Recently, someone noticed our adult children’s interactions with one another and remarked to my husband Don, that they were impressed by how close the kids are and how much fun they have when they’re together. This touched my heart and I wondered what had helped to create their closeness.
I decided . . . it had to be playing Sardines!