I kneel and crank up the hot and the cold, both cascading into a lukewarm perfection, using more cold these days, due to the 110 heat indexes. He squeezes into the space in between my arms and grins up at me, his anticipation leaking through his pores. His eyes are swirled with wonder and hues of blue and I swear those few seconds of him glancing my way are some of the happiest moments of each day.
I lather his baby soft dark blonde hair up with Johnson’s and we rinse and rinse and rinse. I squirt lavender wash onto a white fluffy cloth and scrub each little toe, each little finger. He is officially clean but the fun has only just begun.
The toys await. Tug boats and fish squirties and yellow duckies and measuring cups float, begging to be picked up by the happy fella. He plays and plays, me watching from the safe distance of my bed, occasionally saying, “Sit down, Asher!” “Okaaaay, Momma,” he croons back to me as he plops himself back into delight.
Two year olds aren’t always little hellions. Sometimes they offer so much joy your heart can’t even hold it all.
I let the water out and wrap him up, him grinning all over himself. We step over to the sink where hair and teeth are equally brushed. I leave his hair wet, knowing it’s simply too hot for a hairdryer.
“Jammie time!” I scream and he takes off running through the house, naked and unashamed, the way we were once all meant to be. His dimpled bootie shakes and his brothers laugh at his innocence.
Still naked, he peers at his bookcase, grabbing one to look at while I put on his diaper. Always reading, this fourth boy.
I put him down and he runs to find each family member, giving them big fat kisses on the mouth, telling them goodnight. Asher loves big.
I place him onto the bottom bunk, lay his beloved baby blankets beside him and offer prayers to Jesus. Thank you for creating Asher, Lord. Use him for your glory, Lord. Thank you for the joy he brings to each one of us, Lord.