Counting To One


How can he possibly think that that is a good hiding spot? He is literally right in front of me, under a blanket. I play along and pretend as if I don’t know where he is. Then, with as much surprise as I can muster, I swoop in on him and remove the blanket. He smiles and giggles every time. As only a four-year old can. Why must they grow up?

I’m not ready for him to find a better hiding spot. He still has so much left to teach me. I wish so much I could get inside that brain of his. If just for a moment. What must it be like to just live in the moment? No planning. no thoughts of the future or of the past.

Just the other day, during a game of hide-and-seek, my son mentioned counting to one. Does he realize that doesn’t even make sense? You can’t count to one. Just saying the number one and thinking that that is counting? Really? Counting involves starting at one and going up. At the very least to two. Three would be better.

But then again maybe my son is on to something. Maybe counting to one keeps you in the moment. Maybe counting to one is something I need to try. And then I wonder. Did I use to count to one? And if so at what age did I stop?

Now I am beginning to worry. My son starts preK next year and I know that they practice counting all the time. Don’t get me wrong. My son can count to about twenty or so. Give or take. His favorite number by far is fart-teen. Yes, you read that right. We giggle every time he approaches thirteen because we know what is coming next. But for how much longer?

Yesterday as I was heading out the door to go to my yearly check up my son handed me Bumblebee. For those that are not as hip as I am, ha ha, Bumblebee is a Transformer. He told me I could take it with me. Uh, thanks Derek. And I did take it with me. To the car. Into the doctor’s office. And he stayed with me the whole time.

He made me smile. Bumblebee, that is. And he came in handy. A student that attends my school happened to be shadowing my doctor yesterday. He is going into the third grade and he was quite impressed that I not only had an action figure with me, but that I knew his name. See, I told you I was hip.

While working on this piece my daughter has come into the room several times. My son is at daycare today and she is bored. Each time I have told that I am writing and made it clear that I wanted some time to myself. And yet I am writing this piece! On counting to one! Currently there is a heavy downpour going on outside. She has already been out to play in it once.

What the heck am I waiting for? Time to learn to count to one again. Or at the very least, have fun in the rain with my daughter who is nine and thankfully has not yet forgotten how to count to one.


 I was never good at hide & seek because I’d always make enough noise so my friends would be sure to find me. I don’t have anyone to play those games with any more, but now & then I make enough noise just in case someone is still looking & hasn’t found me yet.

Brian Andreas


  1. Wonderful piece. I have a four-year old myself and appreciate very much how he lives in the now. Often I am jealous but he is always willing to let me be a part of his now!

  2. I sorely wish I could join you in your journeys and play with my children during the day. God did not bless me with children, but I make sure to immerse myself in my school day when there are children around. I hope they know how special they are to me, as your children are to you, Jon! I’d probably get in trouble if I ran out in a downpour with them, though… 😉 Thank you for sharing your special moments!

  3. Jon, I am impressed with the way your so craftily organize your pieces around your family. I think someday your children will be so pleased to have this journal of literary thoughts as a record of their growing up and how they impacted your thinking.

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