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Suds and Simplicity

Friday, March 22, 2013

Recently, an ordinary bath night routine turned into an interesting little life lesson. The girls received a new bath toy from Brandon and me; a blue floaty whale that spurts water up from its blowhole. They were ecstatic for that first bath with their new little guy. So I plopped them in the tub and Whitney called dibs with the toy. I'm sure she remembered the pictures on the outside of the packaging because she knew that it lit up and squirted water. So she tried to turn it on. She took hold of it and shook it to turn on. She plunged it deep under the water’s surface for it to turn on. She flipped it upside down to check for an on/off switch. The toy remained motionless each time. With pleading eyes she handed it to me for help, but I did much of the same. I rotated the thing belly up to check for a switch. Nothing. No sign of life. Stupid piece of crap toy, I thought. I’ll have to change out the batteries after their bath.

Fed up, we let the whale float aimlessly, no fun light or water blowhole squirting. That was when Kennedy took hold of it. She watched patiently (enthused, no doubt) as Whitney and I tried to turn the thing on. But now we were done with it, and it was free for her use. As soon as she had it in her hands, she pressed the blowhole piece downward which effortlessly turned it on, spraying water up at her. She gave a joyful little giggle now that the toy came to life in her hands. This was the very first time she played with the toy, and it was like she had played with it a hundred times before. She knew exactly what she needed to do. And it was really so very simple.

I sat back on my heals totally flabbergasted at my approach with that damn toy. I realized I manipulated a very simple concept. It is a child’s toy for crying out loud. And I assumed it was something hard to be figured out. Lesson learned: I can do hard things, but not all things are hard. My girls are my greatest life teachers.
That damn toy.
So fun.
Her crooked little smile.

The other night I was reminded at just how simply beautiful life is. Again, the girls were in their bath, this time giving themselves soap beards. Brandon walked in to say hello, having just got home from work. He was telling me the story of his day when I glanced over at the girls, splashing, laughing, creating. And at that particular moment, I got that very present feeling. It was one of those moments when the world rotates as if in slow motion and I was hyper-aware of every syllable, every giggle, every breath. I was present. There was my whole world in the bathroom of our house, and I was present for it. It was amazingly simple and beautiful. It was perfect. I showed up for life, and it showed me that everything I ever need is sitting there right in front of me.

I would like more of those moments. I am a student of life; learning to be more present and learning that life isn’t always as hard as I perceive it to be.
Happy weekend friends.

- EB


  1. Too cute! Sometimes our kids are smarter than us in many ways. They enjoy each moment as if it's their first even if they've done it a million times. We definitely have a lot to learn from them!

  2. They teach me to slow down and just look. So simple. :-)

    Thanks E. :-)


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