Read an Excerpt
We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory.
Cappuccino Tacos and Bubble Pie
Give love and unconditional acceptance to those you encounter, and notice what happens.
When the lavender-scented bubbles reached the crest of the tub, I turned off the faucet.
'I'm going to take a bath,' I hollered to my husband. 'Can you watch Peyton for a few minutes?'
'Sure. I'll try,' answered a distant voice.
I sank into the tub, took a deep breath, and started to let the bombardments of life melt away. And then the bathroom door creaked open.
The blue eyes of my three-year-old daughter peeked into my private haven.
'Mommy, can I come in?' Peyton whispered, her voice tentative and polite. She stood like a soldier, awaiting orders.
'Oh, okay, just for a minute,' I grumbled, and she scurried into the room, beaming.
'Is it hot?' she inquired, casually dipping her finger into the water to gauge the temperature.
'Yes. It's hot, very hot,' I said, hoping to discourage her invasion of my bath. 'Mommy likes it that way.'
'Oh,' she sighed, disappointed. She was crestfallen the water was not in her temperature range, but knew that there was a remedy. 'Can I get in with you?'
I growled and furrowed my brow, teasing her. 'Okay, okay,' I said, adding cold water from the tap. She shimmied out of her pajamas and practically dove in.
'I'm going to make you cappuccino tacos and bubble pie,' Peyton announced as she spread a handful of bubbles onto a washcloth.
'Sounds delicious. Those are my favorites,' I answered with only my head above the tepid water.
'Do you want milk or juice?' she asked.
'Will you make me a milkshake?'
'Oh, yes,' my little chef replied. 'Do want vanilla or chocolate?'
'Do you want whipped cream and sprinkles?'
'Of course. That's the only way to have a milkshake, right?'
'Yep,' she agreed as she added a dollop of whipped-cream bubbles and pretend sprinkles, sprinkles of love.
Peyton's encroachment on my bath time has become a ritual in our home over the years. And to be honest, at first I really missed my solo dip—when I could read a magazine and let the stress of the day dissolve into the scalding water sans distraction. But life has taught me not to fritter these precious moments of motherhood.
When she was five, Peyton was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She spent a month in the hospital and I routinely would climb into her metal-frame bed, sharing cafeteria-issue milkshakes with her—longing for a lukewarm bath, a frothy bubble pie, and the sweet taste of more time.
These days, Peyton's foamy milkshakes top my list of favorites. When she serves up her creative bubble-concoctions, she always reminds me to give thanks. So we bow our heads together and pray.
I am thankful for so much more than these frothy bath-time concoctions.
Celeste T. Palermo
Golden sunlight streams through the little window.
Our heads are bowed so close together that the same ray of sunshine highlights our hair.
We whisper, then giggle.
The two of us act so much like young schoolgirls that no one would ever guess we are mother and daughter simply painting each other's toenails.
Jennifer Lynn Clay
©2008. Celeste T. Palermo. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul A Tribute to Moms by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.