The girls each always ask me to sit in the bathroom when they're showering. For the sake of encouraging independence I pretend that they're too old to need me, but I love to stay, because then I can sit and read, and when can I do that? The answer is never, of course, with current added pressure that I agreed to join an in-person book club and our first meeting is tomorrow and, as with everything else in my life, I'm behind. So you can understand that I had no choice, really, but to enjoy my novel while E showered this afternoon.
I was deep in a middle-aged man's midlife crisis when E interjected: can you open the curtain door for a second? That made me smile because I do love a good kiddie phrasing. So I slid the plastic curtain back along rod and she showed me how she'd arranged a lock of her hair across her finger. She'd spread it wide and let the water cascade along it, forming an impossibly shiny, silky ribbon.
Isn't it so pretty? she asked. It is, I agreed. It was. And I remembered suddenly that I had done the same as a girl, exactly the same. I hadn't thought about it in maybe 30 years and there she stood, holding the same discovery and same appreciation of beauty spread across her palm.
These things, they cannot be forgotten.