My twelve year old daughter asked for a massage for Christmas. She’s a hockey player and she often asks me for a back massage, but I must admit, I’m not very good at it. I’ve only had one massage myself, several years ago, but I felt like a million bucks afterwards and wondered why on earth I had waited so long to have one. I wanted to buy a massage for everyone I knew, it was that powerful of an experience. So when my daughter asked for one, I went and got her a gift certificate with the same RMT that had done mine.

Her appointment was this morning and since she is only 12 and didn’t quite know what to expect with it being her first one, I went in and sat with her while she had the massage done. There was soft music playing in the background, the room was serene and welcoming and the RMT (Gillian) explained everything to Sydney before starting. When we told her that Syd was playing in a hockey tournament tomorrow, she was able to adapt the massage in order to target certain muscles that would specifically benefit her in her games tomorrow. I joked that she was just like the pro athletes that have a massage before the big game. (It wouldn’t surprise me if she wants one after the big game now too!)

I was fascinated by how she worked with each muscle group and seemed to be almost listening to each muscle as much as feeling the tension in them. I noticed how she would tilt her head a little to the side as she worked on a specific muscle, as if to be waiting for it to speak to her through her hands. She reminded me of the movie The Horse Whisperer, I suppose we’d call her the “muscle whisperer”. She clearly had found her calling. She was both completely focused on what she was doing, but also ensured her patient’s comfort at all times.

What struck me most about the whole experience was the moment when I felt insanely close to tearing up while watching her work on Syd. I remember thinking to myself, “what is that all about?? why do I feel like like I’m about to cry??” But as soon as the thought registered, along came the answer. It was  watching someone (someone that I’d only met once before, and that Sydney had never met before) treat my daughter (my pride and joy), with the same tenderness, the same presence, the same level of connection that I had thought only a Mother could.

It was a tender moment for me. To be there to witness first hand how much Sydney enjoyed it and how it was a beautifully relaxing experience for her, and to see the degree of care with which Gillian took of my baby.

As parents, we love nothing more than sharing our children’s happiness with them, but to be able to share such a peaceful, nurturing moment with my daughter was purely bliss.

Jennifer Grigg