This week’s growing together tale is from another friend I’ve met in person. I may be hooked on meeting online friends in person now and then promptly sharing their stories here.
On her blog, A Cookie Before Dinner (one of my favorite blog names out there), NJ tells lovely stories and shares amazing ideas (her recent post on things you can do now to prepare for Christmas has me thinking!). Her story today about bath time and her long journey of growth with this particular motherhood staple is so lovely. I can’t stop thinking about her phrase, the glory of the ordinary. Something about that sits so nicely in my heart.
Read on and then visit NJ at her place!
When I was a little girl, I constantly played mommy. I took my babies with me everywhere. I dutifully changed their diapers, fed them bottles, changed their clothes no less than sixteen times an hour, and gave them baths.
I was a little mama who loved giving her babies a bath, it was my favorite part of being a mommy. For my fifth birthday, I was gifted Cabbage Patch Kid doll that was made for the bath. That doll was scrubbed so hard the paint came off of it’s eyes. Getting it made my LIFE and to this day still remains on my top ten gift list.
When my first born came, I thought that I would adore giving him a bath as much as I did my childhood dolls. While I was pregnant I dreamed about watching him learn how to splash in the tub, soaping up his hair, and wrapping him up in a towel.
We gave him his first bath in a sweet fish shaped bath tub on our kitchen table. He hated it. And so did I.
My mother passed away before I got married. It wasn’t a long drawn out death, but rather a 3:00 am phone call police knocking on your door kind of death.
I’ve dealt with my grief over losing my mother as it has come up. But, I wasn’t expecting bathing my child to be a grief trigger for me. It completely blindsided me. Grief often comes randomly and out of what seems like left field.
I couldn’t give Malone a bath without thinking about my own mother who sat there in the glory of the ordinary performing one of the most mundane tasks of motherhood. Every time I tried to give Malone a bath, my mind focused all of the times she sat with me at the tub washing my hair, laughing as I splashed, and wrapping me in a cuddly towel.
Bath time would often end with me as an emotional wreck, sobbing heavily for the loss of my mother and for her loss of getting to be a grandmother to my children. So, baths became my husband’s job. I can count on one hand the number of baths I gave Malone during his first year of life. At I just couldn’t handle the grief that came along with it. Somewhere along the way, I became scared of the grief that I associated with giving Malone a bath.
Thankfully, bath time became a favorite for my husband. I often could hear them playing games together, laughing, and splashing. I was happy that they were happy together. And I was grateful that I could stay away from it all.
It wasn’t until the birth of our second child, Lola that started to feel as though I could handle giving my kids a bath without grieving. She was born in ten minutes and three pushes. I barely made it to the hospital and there wasn’t any time for the doctor to change into scrubs, let alone call for an epidural.
Going through a fast and hard labor taught me that I am capable of much more than I think I can handle sometimes. I made a promise with myself not to miss out on something because I was scared of something that might happen while I’m doing it.
I’m now almost a full year into giving baths to my kids and there have been a few times where I have had to call my husband in to finish bath time. But for the most part, they have been really fun and just like I dreamed they’d be when I was a little girl.
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