The Lens of Now: The Child’s Bath Revisited
“Let’s get those toesies clean,” I say to her. She wiggles her toes and smiles at me. I melt. I already washed the sand from her younger brother’s feet and put him to bed.
I take care of these precious ones every hour of every day of every week. Their mom is on some reality TV show. I forget which one; I think it’s a spinoff now? Anyway, these beautiful children were just on the cover of Us! Weekly, with the caption that their mother was the “mother of the future.” Miss posed them in their cute, coordinating outfits and acted like she was so in love with them.
She is currently on her fourth husband, but I suspect it won’t last much longer. Miss tends to be difficult. So I just listen as she talks on the phone to her girlfriends/frenemies, complaining about everything from her Botox, to her “secret” boyfriend that everyone knows about, to her hatred of “the kids.” You would think Miss thought they had something that would induce wrinkles or make her fat by the way she avoided them.
To add credibility to herself, she likes to boss me around, even though I know she likes having somebody in her life who listens and won’t use everything she says against her. Miss’s parents left her out to die when she was a baby and someone took her to an orphanage. She made it big at eighteen by clubbing it up with the likes of Lindsay Lohan years ago. After several surgical procedures, she barely resembled her old self and landed on one of the biggest reality shows on TV.
Miss hired me when she was pregnant with her little girl, and I haven’t stopped working for them since. Her daughter is four now, and likes to go to the beach. I build sand castles with her while her little brother tries to eat the sand when I’m not looking. Miss is usually shopping or going to her facialist these days, so I take the children to the ocean, where the magic of the salt water, sand, and sun help erase the neglect the children must feel from their mother. “Can we go to the beach every day?” She asks as I dry her feet. I pull her into a hug, smelling her salty, shining self. “Please Mama?” I suck in a sharp intake of breath. Squeezing her even tighter, I smile and say, “Sure, baby girl. Every day.”