The Herald Bulletin

May 17, 2014

Theresa Timmons: A hot tub glance into innocence


The Herald Bulletin

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When we bought our fixer-upper house many years ago, we remodeled the bathrooms. Seth's cousin is a plumber and he happened upon a brand new Jacuzzi bathtub. The tub had been ordered for a customer, was the wrong size and was subsequently rejected. But it was just right for our space and we got quite a deal.

I love that Jacuzzi. It is perfect for tired, achy muscles. It is relaxing. Even the sound of the jet motors create a hypnotic white noise that can put you to sleep in 60 seconds.

Three facts you need to know for this story. 1. I spend a little time in the Jacuzzi practically every evening. 2. My grandson Cayden lives with us and he also loves the Jacuzzi. 3. The bathroom door does not lock.

I guess you know where this is going.

So one evening I was having my special Jacuzzi time in my 18-year-old bathtub. It is a big deep tub and it's easy to submerge practically every limb or appendage.

The door flew open and my grandson marched into the bathroom.

"Hi, Mamaw!" he said enthusiastically.

I turned my head to look at him, my head being the only exposed flesh in the cauldron of bubbling soapy brew. I wondered if I should scream or act ridiculous, but then decided against it since sometimes when you make a big deal it actually creates an unnecessary bigger deal. Plus I was really relaxed and not inclined to spoil my bath with drama.

So I answered him calmly. "Hey," I said.

"You takin' a Cuzzi?" he asked.

"Yep," I said.

"Can I take a baf when you get done?"

"Yep," I said.

He looked longingly into the boiling tub. The sound of the water had its usual effect on him.

"Mamaw, I have to use the potty."

"OK." I said.

He was just working on getting his britches organized again when his daddy yelled from somewhere beyond the bathroom door.

"CAYDEN! Where are you?"

Cayden heaved an enormous, exasperated sigh and short stepped to the bathroom door. He flung it open, exposing his Mamaw and himself to my son on the other side. I decided, a second time, not to scream or act ridiculous. After all, his daddy is the fruitage of my loins, so technically we are not complete strangers.

"I'm in here! With Mamaw!"

"LEAVE MAMAW ALONE," his daddy yelled.

"Grrrrrrrrr!" Cayden has recently taken up growling when he is frustrated. He yanked his britches into place and turned back to me.

"Mamaw, I be wight back," he assured me.

"Really?" I said.

Two minutes passed and the bathroom door flew open again. I casually turned my head to look at Cayden.

"Mamaw, I bwought you something." He had something in his hand.

"What?"

"I got the owange goggles. So just in case you wanna go unda the wata."

"Well, that is very nice," I said. "Those will certainly keep the water out of my eyes. Plus I like orange."

"CAYDEN!" his daddy yelled again.

Cayden tossed the goggles in my direction and disappeared again from the steamy bathroom.

I spent the last few minutes of my Jacuzzi time pondering the topics of privacy, boundaries, and family. I thought about modesty and respect and healthy body image.

But mostly I just thought about the innocence of childhood.

Theresa Timmons’ column appears every first and third Sunday. She is an Elwood resident and can be reached at paperflinger.com.