I am laying atop my eleven year old tonight at bedtime.
I often flop right on top of my children like a rag doll whilst giving them nighty night hugs and kisses. It's just easier.
Bella and I are giggling and tickling and teasing Serena (13) about her propensity to crush on red-headed, freckle faced boys.
"Serena likes gingers!!! Hahahahaaaa!" we taunt.
Suddenly I remembered sharing a bed with my kid sister, Coral.
I remembered all the laughing and taunting. I remembered how care free we were. A wave of nostaligia washed over me.
Coral and I shared a queen sized bed until I was sixteen.
Sometimes we couldn't sleep. We resorted to inventing methods of torture to ward off boredom until Mr. Sandman arrived.
We popped each other's toes.
"NOT THE BIG ONE!!!" we would shout hysterically to the toe popper in question. The big toe throbs for quite sometime if cracked violently by a wild sister in the middle of the night. I don't recommend it.
Of course we each did our best to grab hold of one another's big toes until the tell tale POP was heard.
We also elbowed one another in the ribs regularly and with unnecessary roughness.
This move was unceremoniously deemed:
ELBOW RIBBY (roll the "R").
HEELING was another form of midnight torture.
"Heeling" was a favorite of ours as it created bruising. Physical proof of one's heeling power.
Heeling was done by laying in close proximity to the sister in question on one's back. One then lifted the leg high into the air and let it fall with great force onto the unassuming leg of the sister in close proximity.
The heel must be the only part of the foot or leg to make contact with said sister's unsuspecting stems. The movement must be quick and deft.
"Heeling", when done correctly, can be very spiritually cleansing. It induces hysterical laughter, which rids the body and mind of any existing toxins. All that ails a soul suddenly disappears during a sound heeling. One is focused only on the present moment when heeled.
Tonight I introduced my daughters to the fine art of "heeling".
Let's return to cuddle time with Bella, shall we?
I am lying atop my child when it occurs to me she has not been instructed in the ancient family tradition.
I roll over. I am now on my back in close proximity to the unsuspecting patient.
"Hold still," I say. "I'm going to kick you. It will only hurt for a minute."
"Yes. Coral and I used to heel each other almost every night. I can't BELIEVE I haven't taught you this. If you move when I'm kicking you, you're grounded."
I lift my leg and bring it down with not-too-much-but-just-enough force to make my child cry out in pain and glee.
"OWWWWWW! THAT HURTS!!! DO IT AGAIN!!! HAHAHAAAAAAA!"
Mmmmhmmm. It's just as I suspected. This treatment was WAY overdue. Or perhaps now is the perfect time.
"MY TURN!" shouts Serena. "BRUISES ARE COOL! KICK ME HARD!"
Her wish is my command.
We are all laughing with wild abandon.
It is a good night.
I am grateful for my gift of heeling.
PS I heeled my husband once tonight after the kids were in bed. He didn't like it. He said, "Ow! You're crazy! That hurts!" I called him a wimp. :)