The Guardian Angel has gone back to home town for a holiday. So it is just me and the little one. She has been grumbling how the Guardian Angel wouldn’t let her bathe herself, feed herself. Well, she is still a little one, at least to us.
And yesterday, just me and her, after I assisted the wash of her long, beautiful black hair, she turned to me and said, “please go stand there and watch me shower. I can do it.” Obediently, I did as I was told. I stood for a while and realised that she was going to take some time, so I went to lay on the mattress where I could watch her anyway.
She knew what to do, even better than me I’d say. She turned the knob so that the water would not run as she rubbed body shampoo on her beautiful tiny body (I don’t do that, you see). As she rubbed herself, she laughed and played with bubbles a little, blowing them as they (the bubbles) incessantly form on her body due to the contact of soap, water and texture. I watched her giggle and her laugh was so self fulfilling. As she missed several spots, I did my part in reminding her, “don’t forget the shoulders”, “don’t forget the armpits”, “don’t forget the place behind your knees”, and she noticed that she did not realise that these places actually exist and obediently directed her hands to the exact places where she was told, and then rubbed them with soap. And then she giggled again, as if amused. And then I noticed that it was taking a little too long. No wonder Guardian Angel would rather shower her as it would be much quicker. And I noticed the urge to hurry her, yet I kept quiet and choose to watch her silently instead. The urge kept nudging, “hurry hurry, there is much to do! the garden is full of poo, the clothes did to be wash, and my gosh, I haven’t even written today!”, “come on, I haven’t even showered!”, “we are going to be late for the dinner appointment” and there was a continuous smile as that urge tried to lift me up from the mattress to shorten the journey of the little one’s shower.
And I wondered what it would be like just watching her without interfering her one bit…
…and she surprises me. She plays and giggles again, as if not really ready to wash off the soap from the body. And I watch her again as she amuses herself again and again, laughing and occasionally shouting out to me, “mommi, look!!!” as she points to some parts of the body which she has created some designs out of the foam, and then points at the bubbles which she blows from the foam, inviting me to laugh with her and join her in her joy. It was total kindness, and I laugh and giggle with her.
Soon, she surprises me again. She turns on the knob of the shower again by herself! She adjusts the knob just so the temperature is right, using her hand as a tester before she allows her body to fully enjoy the warmth of the water pouring down from the shower head. And then she rubs the body to assist the soapy foam to conform to the law of gravity. Such intelligence in a little being.
It is done. The body is finally clean. Without leaving the mattress, I watch what she does next. And I am amazed again as she steps out of the shower calmly and pulls her towel from the towel hanger and dries herself. Creatively, she wraps her head and ties the towel around the waist. I am unsure how she does that because I never thought that is possible. Such creativity! And then I smile as I witness how she tries to tie a knot from the edges of the towel so that as she walks, the towel would not fall. She does not even lift her head up once to look at me, not even a sign of uncertainty or seeking assurance that she is doing the right thing, just merely investigating on her own and finding her own way. And then I notice she realises she doesn’t know how to tie a knot with such huge edges yet, so she decides to hold them in one hand.
As she walks towards me, a book from her table catches her eye and then she moves herself there and begins to flip the pages of the book…
I laughed because I knew that was when I had to step in to bring her to the complete process of fully drying up and dressing her up. She was distracted, and I was the guardian, the nurturer now, so I got up from the mattress and walked towards her, inviting her to put her book down for a while to dry herself up before she caught a cold and to dress up. We did have a dinner appointment to keep. She giggled and laughed. I giggled and laughed with her. We played toggle for a while and then she surrendered and knew she had to dress up. And all I did was only to assist her in towel-drying her long beautiful black mane and the parts of the body which still had remnant droplets of water. We giggled and laughed together again while applying the unnecessary body lotion on her body. It was fun.
My job was done. She was dressing up without my assistance. I turned to look at the clock, and oh my goodness… I only had 15 mins left before dinner appointment. So I took my leave and went to fulfil my turn of washing up. Yet, we were not late for dinner and there was no rush. Everything happened splendidly on time.
It was a marvellous journey of letting go some more and witnessing the growing up. And I am glad, how by non-interference, not only she got to explore and have fun, but I got to witness her greatness and independence at such a young, tender age.
Indeed, one of the sweet things in life is derived from stepping back and just merely watching and stepping in only when necessary. Not too much, not too little. It is in letting go, can growing up begin.