Tender Baptism

I turn the handle and water flows into the tub.  
 "Is it warm enough?" 
 
I let her decide.
 
Choice is the fundamental human right.  

 Sometimes I tease her and move the handle to C. 
 
"Too cooooold!" she cries.
 
We try again. 
 
"Too hot!"
She pulls her hand away. 
 
I tap the handle to the center. 
 
 "It's warrrm," she says approvingly.
And we're off. 

I direct her scrubbing and help with hard-to-reach places. 
 
While she washes, I sing.
"Do, a deer, a female deer,"
She joins in: "Re, a drop of golden suuuuun!"
  
We could duet for hours-our voices loud and strong,
amplified by bathroom plumbing.
 
When she is finished, I give her a moment to relax.
Sometimes we have to rush to
get dressed, dry hair, apply lotions,
But haste never feels appropriate.
She likes to linger under the warm stream.
Who doesn't?
I slide the shower door shut and let her soak in private.
When she emerges, she steps on to the bath mat and declares:
"All clean!"
 
She speaks for us both,
for we are both purified.
Baptized by the tender power
of giving and receiving a bath.