Whenever my babies cried, I put them in the tub. It transformed them into happy laughing children. It gave me a moment to have a glass of wine and remember their joy.
On warm days when my kids used to come home from school in Scarborough, we didn't tell each other about our day until we were down at the beach. We rolled up our pant legs and walked in the wet sand. Then we shared our good times and bad while we were away from each other.
Now that we've moved, when my children are restless and bored, I take them to the pool in Orono. Instantly they are leaping into the pool and playing like the best of friends. Better than that. They know each other better than friends. They are brother and sister who know every button to push for joy or insanity.
On Sunday nights when every one is low, I go upstairs, close the shades, turn on lights, and run the shower hot. Then I call my babies up to take long hot showers while they chat with me. I breath in the steam and prop my feet up on the sink and laugh at the funny things they say as first one, then the other lets the water clear away the weekend and make room for the days ahead.
And as I tuck them in, I bring ice cold water to their side tables. It never fails as the way to signal the end of the day. I read to them, sing to them, and kiss them 101 times even when I'm tired and wish I was downstairs because they won't always be so little and I know I will miss it.