One evening, I forgot to lock the door. (big mistake) Bailey, my oldest, slipped quietly in the door and kneeled by the tub. “Want me to wash your back, Mommy?” she asked in a whisper, perhaps sensing my need for quiet. I looked at her, and couldn’t resist the genuine plea to participate in my bath time ritual. She took the bar of soap between her fumbling hands until lather billowed from her fingers, and then gently rubbed it across my back. I hummed an “mmmmm” of appreciation, and she asked “Do you like for me to wash your back, Mommy?” I did very much.
A few moments later, Riley, my middle child, discovered she was being left out of something that looked wonderfully fun -- water and bubbles. She too knelt by the tub, keeping her normally spirited voice to a soft lull. “I want to play too!” she said. Scooping up a handful of bubbles, she dabbed some on her nose and giggled. Though I should have felt my moment of solitude had been invaded, I giggled too. It became a game. She blotted my cheeks with bubbles. “I love your cheeks,” she smiled. And then my chin. “I love your chin.” And my knees, and my elbows, and my ooshey gooshey tummy. She loved every decorated part of me. No one in THIS room cared about my lumps and bumps. I was their mommy....their hero....their playmate in the moment!
My other daughters soon followed, delighting in the white wonderland of bubbles and soap. Even the boys peeked in, to see what was causing all the comotion. Some of the sweetness of the moment gave way to rambunctious play as water splashed, and bubbles popped, and giggles floated.
Hearing the chaos of laughter, my husband knew they must be up to no good. But instead, he found them lined like a row of ducklings by their mommy, soaking the floor and themselves, donning beards and hats of bubbles. And, to his surprise, he found a smile on my face. So, as any good father should, he smiled back at me, came over to the tub, scooped up a handful of bubbles and blew me the sweetest bubble kiss ever.
These days, my bath time ritual has changed. Though sometimes I miss soaking in the peace, and widening my horizons with books without pictures, there will be plenty of time for that. There will come a time when the simplicity of water, bubbles, and mommy will no longer delight my children to such giddiness. There will come a time when my babies are too embarrassed to tell me they love my nose, and they love my ears. And there will come a time when they will all be too busy to volunteer a back rub or to gently wrap me in my towel so that I don’t get “freezing,” as Bailey would say.
I listen to my kids say their prayers before bed, and cannot help but smile when they thank God for mommy letting them give her a bath, and tell God they hope I take a bath tomorrow night.
And when I finally go to bed, I say my own prayers, I too, thank God for bath time....
Happy Monday !