The boys showered on Wednesday night. It's like an ordeal in my house. They get their few and far between "alone time" moments and feel the warm water rush down their bellies and splash onto their feet. This is a much different change from the younger years of the two of them tubbing together. "Okay! That's enough hot water!!" I yell from the kitchen. They hop out of the shower and use my comb to spike their hair ... "Can we use gel Mom?"  They look at themselves in the mirror and smile. One of them starts doing push-ups on the bathroom floor. I whip together a "boys balm" blend of essential oils, shae butter and coconut oil... and prepare my massage table. I place their little boy sheets on it.

"Who's first?"

"Me first!"

I started some instrumental music. My favorites from the soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice, and begin to massage his arms and chest. His asthma flared this past week, kept us up at night... him with a physical strain on the diaphragm... and me with worry. His body was a bit tense. He anticipated this maybe "tickle-ish" touch but was curiously delighted to lay there and receive such pampering.

He closed his eyes. His small frame raised and lowered with a sigh. A wave of tenderness washed through me as tears formed in his eyes and mine.

 "Hi my Boy." I let my presence be a safe cocoon around him. And we didn't speak. More words would have taken from the moment. His cry was audible and sweet.

Yet, if there were... words, I think it would have gone something like this...


"Yes, Baby."


"I'm here. Really here."  

"Mama, I needed you."

"I know you did."

"Mama, I needed you but I was brave. When you weren't there all the time...

when I got on the bus and when I walked through the big lunch room...

when you were home and with me but too tired and spent. I needed you." 

"I know Baby. I'm here."

"I know Mama."