Today was wet; from beginning to end; from tip to toe; inside and out.
Rain fell all day with soft pitters and plashes against the windows or miniature raging rivers running from the eaves onto the concrete with clattering splashes. We hunkered down; cooked and cleaned and read and made music and the day flowed away from us.
From the outset, Ni and I felt dampened in body, if not spirit and Wawa seemed a little the same. "Coming down with something?" we'd have asked once. Now it's always, "What did we eat?"
Content enough to stay indoors all day, Wawa nevertheless found herself drawn to water. She joined me in the shower first thing. I put the plug in so she could play at my feet and she set to work immediately. When I got out, I ran some more water to make the bath a little warmer and deeper, then imposed upon Ni to sit with her, so that I could make pancakes for breakfast.
After some noisy sister time, Doot relieved Ni as sentry and ate his pancakes by the bath, feeding our steadily wrinkling little one from his plate as she played. Then I took over once more as he headed off to bed, having finished an overnight shift a couple of hours before.
Once out, towel-wrapped and sleek, Wawa followed drier pursuits for a while, but before long she was to be found pouring water back and forth in her little wooden play kitchen. (Or rather her sister's very much-loved kitchen, becoming Wawa's ever-so-slowly by grace of the irresistible force of passing time and childhood's eventual inevitable wane.)
Then there was drawing and playing and reading to be done, but when her sister stepped into the shower this afternoon, there she was, eager not to miss a single drop. During her second lengthy bath of the day, Doot awoke to find her seemingly still bathing. "Tell me she hasn't been in there all day!" he demanded jokingly, with just a hint of genuine doubt in his voice.
Later there was more messy drawing on a white board with paint markers, then naturally she decided it was time to wash away the inky fruits of her labours. An extended splashy, soapy session ensued in the basin, ending with wall to wall water and an unusually clean, floral-scented toddler.
I recognise the primal force in all of us to return, at times, to the water from whence we came. This is especially true for the littlest of us who haven't yet learned to suppress their nature. I have felt it calm my senses and still my tumultuous mind and whenever practical, I try not to deny its kindnesses to my children, even if that ancient craving for ebb and flow finds its fulfillment in a bath tub full of river stones and plastic ducks rather than in an ocean at the edge of the world.