Of all the phrases my daughter has in her current repertoire, “Here’s ME!” is my favorite.

“Daddy, ask Mommy where’s me!” she’ll say while she’s snuggled in the crook of his arm on the couch, with a blanket over her head. So Daddy, ever cooperative, will say, “Mommy, where’s Little Bear?” And Mommy, always looking for a chance to play along with a game of this level of potential giggling, will look up and down, saying all the time, “Where is she? Could she be under the couch? Where is she?” The giggling can only go on for so long before someone who’s two-nearly-three will burst, and so, after a minute or so, she’ll stand up, toss off the blanket, and proclaim, “Here’s ME!”

Sometimes, we’ll be on our way somewhere and she’ll tuck herself under a blanket (or her hands) and prompt us from the backseat. So, of course, we seek high and low, and we’re rewarded with the “Here’s ME!”

Her enthusiasm for this hide-and-seek game – in which she doesn’t really hide and we don’t really seek – is amusing to my husband and I. We really can’t get enough of her triumphant smile, the sharing of such innocent laughter, the tinkling feeling of parenthood we’re left with in the pits of our stomachs.

It makes me wonder if God looks down at us in the same way. It makes me think that, really, he must. We call him Father – and not just “Father,” but “Abba,” which is closer to “Daddy.” And Mary is our Mother. How often I ask for their help, their strength, their guidance! But how often do I stand there and just shout “Here’s ME!” with a joyful smile on my face? I act like a toddler often enough in my responses to what life throws my way; perhaps it’s time to start sharing some of that toddler joy heavenward…