H and I have been playing our own version of Marco Polo.
“Mama,” H calls.
“H,” I reply.
And so on, until H says, “Mama don’t say H anymore.”
I take his cue and bring the game to a close by saying, “Okay. Mama won’t say H anymore.”
Our Marco Polo is a remarkably versatile and powerful game, having as many meanings and serving as many purposes as we need it to. Sometimes it’s a playful, lighthearted, just because bantering game, a way to delight in letters and sounds and cause and effect. Sometimes it carries deeper meaning.
Sometimes our Marco Polo seems to be a way of saying, “I can’t see you, and I need to locate you in physical space.” And, “I’m here. I can hear you. Can you hear me?”
Other times it seems to be, “I can see you sitting right next to me, but I want to make sure you are really present. And, “Yes, I am here in all ways. I am fully present with you in this moment.”
Sometimes it is, “Look! I am doing something exciting and fun, and I would like to share it with you.” And, “I love watching you play.”
And yet other times it is, “Something or someone unfamiliar is here! Where is home base?!” And, “Yes, this is new. I’m right here. We’ll brave this moment together.”
Sometimes it’s a short middle-of-play check in, “I’m still here. Are you still here?” And, “Yes. I am here. We are here together.”
“Mama don’t say H anymore.”
“Okay, sweet pea. Mama won’t say H anymore.”
Until the next time we play.