The house I live in is single story and a bit spread out, which means it’s perfect for games of chase.
Games of chase in my home means that my older children, Penn and Grace, run away from the baby of the family, Zoe, while she chases them to stay in the game and have someone to play with. Yes, this is mean. Anyone with children knows that children are mean. What happens occasionally, though, is that Penn and Grace forget their meanness and start Chasing Her Back. When that happens, the Game is On and then there are masses of large footsteps back and forth through the house — library to kitchen to living room to kitchen to library to kitchen to living room. With giggles. With brief interludes of quiet while Penn and Grace hide in the library, still overrun with boxes, because Zoe got distracted momentarily and forgot to chase them.
Gratuitous food reference: they have to run through the kitchen no matter what they do.
Now I’d like you to excuse, for the moment, Penn’s and Grace’s meanness because they usually do get over it, and because the child to the left, if she is anything, is a stinker. The word I have used through the years is destructobot. She has already learned how to be annoying just for the sake of being annoying. And then she is in to everything. Everything. If you have one of these, you know. So I don’t completely blame my son, who likes to line up his trains in his bedroom, for wanting to run away from Zoe. And, I don’t completely blame my older daughter, who likes to create portraits on her new whiteboard easel, for wanting to run away as well.
But I am grateful that although they run away, they always run back.
I happened to mention to my wife that through all my years of parenting the one game that all of my children liked to play the most is chase. No toys needed, just other children. She pointed out that chase scenes are probably the most popular single type of movie scene. It just occurred to me that the romantic comedies that my wife loves to watch are also vast chase scenes. Playing chase isn’t just a childhood pastime. We never grow out of playing chase. We just learn to play different variations of the game. Some of them are more dangerous than others, while some continue to be a whole lot of fun, but we never quit chasing.
We start out chasing our brothers and sisters. Then we chase our friends, then our partners, then our careers and our ambitions. At the end of our lives, if we have had good lives we rest and let our deaths chase us. If we have not, we chase our deaths.
Life is movement, and what we choose to chase defines us.