The Kids Stay in the Picture: Part 2

Dear Michael,

Now we click the slide show to you and me in the bathtub. You might be 18 months old, maybe two years. I’m seated in the tub, my head forward, my hands holding your waist. We’re both wet all over. Our faces are about two inches apart and we’re looking directly into each other’s eyes. I’m looking up at you and you’re looking down at me. You’re smiling, a spontaneous smile, perhaps the first hint of a laugh. Do you know why?

I’ll tell you why.

My mouth is pressed right against your wet belly. I’m probably kissing it, kissing your belly really hard, with all the suction my mouth and lips can muster, and I’ll bet anything the sensation really tickled. You probably cracked up so much I had to stop. Some shot, that one. Dad kissing your belly in the bathtub.

Now let’s go for one more photo here. As it happens, you’re in the bathtub again. You’re up to your chest in bubbles, white, foamy bubbles. You’re smiling widely, your mouth open, your tongue halfway out. Is it because of the bubbles surrounding you, all popping so fragrantly?

No.

It’s because once again you have some company in the tub. Caroline. She’s in there, too, almost up to her neck in bubbles. She’s smiling, too, more of a grin, really.

Hey, your smile says, I’m taking a bubble bath with my little sister!

Hey, her grin says, I’m taking a bubble bath with my big brother! She’s maybe a year old, moon-faced, so happy you’re there with her.

You stare at the photo and you ask yourself, Were a brother and sister ever happier than in this moment?

You ask yourself, Is greater happiness than this even imaginable?

Hey, you tell me.

P.S. – So what do you think? I’d love to hear from you.

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