It’s 7 p.m., which means bathtime at our house.
I close the drain and fill the tub with warm water.
I pump Johnson’s baby soap—the water and soap swirl together and form bubbles.
The bubbles dance on top of the water, just waiting to cleanse my baby boy.
I toss in your foam alphabet letters, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Penguin.
I place you in the bath and lather baby soap in my hands and give you a soapy mohawk.
You are barely one and still my baby, but your four fat teeth make you look older.
You chew on the foam letters and babble, I know you’re telling me about your day.
I smile and listen and watch the suds between your chubby toes.
I know you have already forgiven and forgotten how I made us come inside from swinging so you could take your nap.
I know you have already forgiven and forgotten that I didn’t let you throw the hairbrush in the garbage can.
I rinse your hair and you look up at me with those cloudy blue eyes and as your soap washes away, so do today’s tears and dirt.
We both forgive and forget.
I lift you up into a fresh, soft towel and wrap you up, burrito style.
We go to your room and lotion you up, your little baby butt is squeaky clean.
Your new smell fills my nose and carries the nostalgia of many previous nightly bathtime rituals like this.
We both know sleep is coming and with sleep comes milky cocoa (breastmilk) and snuggles before I lay you down.
We both know tomorrow is a new day and a new adventure together.