One of my favorite things as a girl was walking out from a bath, jumping on the bed and applying the sweet smell of baby lotion on my damp skin. Growing up, it was my mom or one of my aunts who bathed me and put moisturizer on me. It was always a rushed process, because they didn’t want me to get cold– plus I’m sure “bathing the baby” was just another thing on their “to do” list.
When I got old enough to put the lotion on myself, I considered this a very “grown up” thing to do. And I always took my time to do it– it was like painting on my skin that would eventually dissolve into invisible, sweet-smelling glossiness. I guess when you’re a kid, it’s the little things that are easy to find art in.
Now as an “adult” I rush out of the shower and quickly apply the nearest bottle of lotion under the sink. I no longer paint the moisturizer; I pour it straight on my skin and cringe at the coldness before needing to dress myself. This is what grown-ups do, I suppose.
Yesterday, after R left for a trip up north, I took my time to shower and dry off. Perhaps it was a childlike urge in me (or adult laziness) that made me want to rush back under the covers, marvel at the skin on my legs, and paint my skin with moisturizer. There was nothing sexual about it; just pure childlike innocence and a wish to use lotion like paint on my skin, the same way I used to as a kid. I sat in bed, naked, with droplets of water falling from my hair strands. The moment I turned on the radio, one of my favorite songs right now started playing. Everything was so perfect, and it was so much fun.
At the exact time the song ended, I was done “painting” my skin, and I realized that it only took me maybe three extra minutes to get ready.
This only took a few extra minutes, and it made me so happy. I thought, “When I have kids, I can’t wait to let them play and paint and take their time on things…” Why did I miss this so much? Why don’t I make more time for myself to find the play, art, and fun in the little things in life? What is this life if not to enjoy where I am, instead of rushing toward the next big chapter?
Maybe I’ll do that more. I’ll do it for her.