I began wailing as my Mother swung me up and out the bath. “No, Mummy, no! Bath needs me!” My Mum laughed as she began towelling her two year old dry.
“And I need you to put on your pyjamas. Then you can have your favourite supper – boiled egg and soldiers. After supper I’ll read you a story before bed.”
Soldiers and a story! The wailing stopped.
My Mum bent over the bath as she began washing her 28 year old’s hair. The look in my eyes was lost. I recognised Mum but that was it. Confusion. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t hear. My eyes were unable to close. The right hand side of my body was spastic. Where was I? Worst of all: Who was I?
My Mum tied the plastic bags over both of my hands, one in a cast and the other in a splint. Then she helped me into the bath. “Oh, this is great, Mums!” I enjoyed the heat for a few moments and then ducked my head below the water, careful to keep my arms sticking up, Eiffel-Tower like. I came up into a sitting position and Mum kneeling at the side of the bath began shampooing my hair. When she had finished that, the bathing of me began. I stood beside the bath and my Mother began to dry me, put body lotion on me and dress me.
I marvel at my Mother. She is no longer that young woman swinging her child out of the bath. She is seventy-five and carries the aches of any aged person. Yet here she is; on her knees bathing her fifty-two year old daughter.
My heart swells with love for that woman bathing her child.
“Gray hairs seem to my fancy like the light of a soft moon, silvering over the evening of life.” – Richter.