How do I explain the feeling of giving my 5-month-old daughter a bath?
The baby is in the tub. It’s 7:20pm. Alabama Shakes bounces between bathroom tiles. The baby slaps the water. She’s warm, curious, content. Kate asked me if I wanted to give her a bath tonight. For the last month or two, with no Away soccer games requiring me to bathe the baby, I’ve been defaulting to bath time as a mom and baby thing. They bathe. I write. Or I do the dishes. Or I whatever.
How do I explain the feeling of giving my 5-month daughter a bath? The baby is a psychedelic. A mind expander. For my limited and programmed ape brain (must write, must reply to emails, must must must), EllieRoo is the magical naked baby invitation to BE PRESENT and DO NOTHING BUT PLAY. People say tripping is uncomfortable because the strong medicine invites or requires you to let go. From my hours accumulated in baby playtime—rolling around on the bed, making non-sensical noises, dismantling language—the urge to get up and DO SOMETHING is almost aways flicking my earlobe. As if EllieRoo isn’t enough to satiate my attention.
Having logged 31 years on planet, I’ve observed that as soon as my hoped-for-blessings become visible, they slip into invisibility. As soon as dreams materialize, I fail to see them. I take them for granted. Attention and desire shift to what’s not yet here. The baby is prime example. Except she refuses to be unseen. As a first-time father, it’s so hard to unsee her. Partly, it’s the cute factor. Partly, the growth and novelty. But mostly it’s that EllieRoo is this unspeakable cut from the cloth of Life. Anybody who’s seen or held a brand new baby, knows the feeling.
How do I explain the feeling of giving my 5-month daughter a bath? The religious or psychedelic experience transcends words, so it’s hard to staple a sentence to the feeling. Same with the baby. And maybe that’s the point. Of transcending the limits of the I-me-my. The limits of my job, my clothes, my relationship with this or that or him or her. I’m standing over my soap-headed offspring as she’s engulfed by a tub of warm tap water, gnawing on an old gelato container.
This is the real life yoga ommmmmmm.
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