Every evening there is a minute.
A tiny sliver of the day I cherish.
A moment that I have participated in thousands of times with three boys has recently taken on the significance of scarcity.
Rhett(5) still asks for me to help him with his bath.
He is a force of independence the rest of the day and night which is why I willingly accept.
He fakes bathing incompetence. He pretends he can’t wash his hair. He acts as though he has never been introduced to soap. He reports no knowledge of towel location.
I know he knows better.
He knows he knows better.
As the water swirls down the drain, he climbs onto my towel covered lap.
The full-size bath towel wraps around him and he snuggles into it completely. Except a leg will escape. Except his shoulder will poke out.
He relaxes into my arms pausing the day.
Sometimes I rock him gently. Sometimes I tousle his hair with a dry corner. Sometimes I sneak a kiss on his damp cheek.
I notice the significance. He is my last. He is 5. He is getting too old for bathing assistance. Someday will be the last day he will tolerate this moment.
Was it tonight?