My sweet Katie,
Tonight I plugged the drain of my bathtub, squirted in a healthy dose of bubble bath, turned the not-too-hot water on and lined your Polly Pockets up on the edge of the tub.
This was probably the millionth bath you’ve taken in your seven years.
It seems that so much of mothering is focused on all of the firsts. First smile, first steps, first words, first day of school.
And there’s this span of time wherein you are cushioned by those firsts… where it seems as though each one builds on the one before it and there are so few lasts.
But, something tells me that before long, bath time will be a thing of the past. You’ll move on to bathing… showering… in private and this bubble of time will no longer be spent with me by your side, washing your hair for you… handing you the washcloth.
When you were a baby, we bathed together every night. We played with your multicolored foam alphabet letters, sang a million rounds of Old MacDonald and often you settled and nursed there amongst the popping bubbles.
Those days with you seemed so much slower.
Now our days are filled with lunch packing, school pick up, errands, homework and just the overall busyness life.
We are happy. But we are busy.
And somehow the years between when I felt certain that we had this immeasurable expanse of time ahead of us in which we could run a bubble bath and laugh and sing have collided into now… now when I just know those days are dwindling.
In many ways, now has become a time of lasts intermingled with firsts, where a single day can simultaneously hold joy of the new and melancholy over the no more.
But tonight, I drew your bath and climbed in beside you.
We played with your Polly Pockets together, washing their hair and singing our songs. Old MacDonald has been replaced by the entire Sophia the First CD.
Lasts and firsts.
And in each, I am learning, there is beauty.
Thank you for showing me the way, my dear girl.
I am so very grateful for you.
With so much love,