Foot Rubs and a Facial

I was gifted the experience of a relaxing Sunday afternoon with a friend and an elaborate spa facial a few weeks ago.

The vulnerability of laying naked-faced with someone picking at every pore was simultaneously raw and relaxing. I was forced to give my fears about my face away, and chose instead to relax into the moment- accepting that this was the face I received in my genes, takes me into the places I live, and will be with me til the end. Yes, I need to take care of the skin upon it, but to altar it greatly cannot be done. I must live in my face with grace.

By far the best part was the hot towel face wrap. Spinning two warm towels over my face with just a hole in the middle for breathing, the technician pressed down hard on the whole of my face under the warmth. The firm pressure released tension and felt wonderful.

Two weeks after the facial, I went to a yoga class- my first at a yoga studio instead of a gym setting or prenatal DVD in my living room.

Led by a highly qualified instructor (yogi?), the class was very hands on with multiple instructors working around the room to push us deeper into already uncomfortable-but-good-for-me poses. After being let out of the last stretch, we were invited to lay flat in the quiet with eyes closed and body still. I was once again vulnerable to the experience around me- in the middle of a busy day, I found myself far away, in the dark, and in peace. After three minutes, one of the instructors started to massage my feet. Between four of them, they massaged every foot in the room. Oh, the feet they must encounter and the gift they give in touch.

Driving away from yoga that day, I had the thought that I should give my kids a facial and a foot massage. Within the week, I took action.

After dinner, I grabbed whichever one was closest and clipped long finger and toe nails. The clipping revealed some stink and stuck-in gunk in their toes so I started them on a foot soak around the table. Simple soap and warm water, they soaked and splashed. Oaks, with a huge grin, had his bowl on the foot stool.

After the soak, I heated up my heat pack and got three hot towels. I lit candles in my room and gave them each a pillow to lay on. In a line, they alternated between face towel relaxation, heat pack heart warmth, and lotioned foot massage. Oakley lasted the first 3 minutes and chose to forgo a face towel wrap. Drew finished the Oakley spa evening with stories and bed.

For Eli and Andi, they appreciated the ambiance, the attention, the touch, and the presence. They loved the feeling of massage on face, calf, and foot. Andi especially relaxed and enjoyed the physical touch- she is a very physical child and this positively filled her up. Eli, usually moving too fast for touch, laid impressively still with his body, but kept his mind and mouth in continual motion as usual. They both expressed gratitude audibly and in their reluctance for the experience to end.

Mostly, I was moved. I got to touch and see, handle and hold my big kids’ bodies in ways I haven’t for a long time. In rubbing their feet, I fell in love again with how small and precious they are. As I rubbed their face, I spoke affirmation over who they are and encouragement for what they might do. I held their head in my lap and was very, very overwhelmed with how much of a gift they are to me and the world.

The next day meant socks and shoes and peanut butter lips on those small feet and faces. Underneath and deep down however, we were all a little more in tune with each other and the life inside our skin.


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