Remember those long, luxurious hours spend soaking in a hot bubble bath? Good book in hand? Maybe a little music playing? Yeah. Me, either. After a long run tonight, there was nothing my body wanted more than to soak in a near-scalding bathtub, letting my mind unwind after a long first day back at school. And then the bathroom door came flying open.
It was all I could do to not slide under the water. I knew it wasn’t Barkley; the intruder had used the doorknob to enter. It could only be one person, since Justin was watching the Sugar Bowl. It was he-who-should-have-been-sleeping-but-wasn’t. Robert Gaetano Manna, himself. Fortunately, between the incredible bath bomb from my sister and the powerful tub jets, I was completely covered with bubbles.
Robbie stood there, taking it all in. “Mom, are you dirty?”
“Yes, honey. Why don’t you go back to bed?”
“I need to take a bath, too, Mom. I’m dirty,” Robbie declared as he started to take off his shirt.
“Wait!’ I screamed – we’ve reached the age where this whole situation was about to get extremely awkward. “You’re not dirty! You don’t need to take a bath! Go back to bed!” And, I’ll admit, my voice got a little more high-pitched with each sentence, envisioning all of the therapy sessions that were sure to occur somewhere down the road when Robbie remembered taking a bath with his mother.
But then I remembered what I wrote yesterday – about cherishing every moment – and sent Robbie to go get Justin. Ten minutes later, Robbie and I were both in our bathing suits, enjoying bubbles that covered Robbie when he sat in the tub. We pretended Robbie was a snowman – a melting one, as he watched the bubbles fall from his shoulders down his body and back into the water. Robbie slipped all over the place, pretending to be a merman (after a brief lesson in gender, as he was declaring himself a mermaid initially).
All of a sudden it happened – the moment that makes giving up a moment of tranquility completely worthwhile. Robbie grabbed my face in both of his hands, stared into my eyes, and said, “Mom, we’re having fun together, aren’t we?” Before I could respond, before I could even fully hold onto the moment, it – and Robbie – had slipped away. I sure am glad I was paying attention.