“Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.”
I remember being too young to take showers. Baths were the only way to wash my body under my parents’ roof until early adolescence. Filling a bath tub with Bullock County’s municipal soft water was the norm. My mother purchased Ivory – a Procter and Gamble soap bar for our family to use – a brand she deemed the purest of them all. We later switched to Lever 2000 for reasons I cannot remember.
To this day, I have not the slightest clue why my parents placed age restrictions on showering. Sure, I know toddlers should not be left alone to shower or splash around in a bath. I am confident my mother set this rule, my father did not care how we bathed only that we did. Maybe I will ask them.
Aside from the age-specific methods of cleaning my body, one thing I cherished about baths as a child were the bubbles. My hometown’s municipal water supply was perfect for creating suds. An avid Avon shopper in the 1990s, my mother ensured there was a steady supply of Bubble Bath in our home. I remember the distinct shape of the Avon Bubble Bath bottle. The iconic shape of the bottle persists, yet the font has changed.
The long-lasting financial distress of college and graduate school isolated me to living in specific apartment communities in certain neighborhoods. Many boasted bathrooms with only a shower or a bathtub with a showerhead that made sitting in the tub the least appealing thing to do in the bathroom. So, I forsook taking bubbly baths for most of my twenties.
Once married to Larry and living in our cozy home, my love for bubble baths returned. He and I would soak together every Sunday night to unwind – sometimes in complete silence. Bubble baths are now an exercise in self-care. Drawing and soaking in a hot bath is therapeutic. I sometimes sit alone with my thoughts, allowing them to race around my cranium without succumbing to the urge of herding them into meaningfulness. This I learned from Larry’s quest of being more mindful.
Bubble baths are an act of mindfulness – focusing on a sole thought, acknowledging its existence. The warmth of the nearly too hot bath water. The sensation of the suds fizzing out of existence with each movement of my arms and legs. The loosening of tense lower back muscles. The cascading of relaxation over my body as I breathe with depth. Smiling because of it all. At times, adding eucalyptus infused Epsom Salt to my bubble bath intensifies the pleasure. The eucalyptus permeates the room, freeing my nostrils from mild constriction. Relaxation prevails.
Bubble baths are godsends.