I prepare my oil. Coconut, not olive. Lavender for calm, peppermint for cool clarity, vanilla for warmth, ginger for spice. The oil warms my palms as I rub them briskly. I hold the back of her neck in my hands, sweeping from the top of her spine to the base of her skull. Breathe in slowly, breathe out slowly. Tense your toes, relax your toes, tense your calves, relax your calves. Breathe as slowly as you can. In and out. Tense your belly and relax, up and up until you tense your forehead and relax. I run my fingers up her scalp and tug gently on her earlobes. Then brush my hand over her forehead, smoothing her hair back from her brow. I love you so much, nigh-night, sleep well, breathe slowly.
Tom blesses with priesthood, laying his hands lightly on the top of her head, the lovingest of fathers. That she may remember who she is, do her best, understand what she is taught, be kind and friendly and helpful. I bless with love and soothing comfort. Anytime of day, she can stop and breathe deeply, in and out, as slowly as she can.