We blow bubbles in the backyard, beside the wading pool full of floating sticks, leaves, and green tomatoes plucked from the garden. I ask the finches' and sparrows' pardon as my son scares them away in his joyful popping of soapy rainbows. Geddy just hollers, "Birds! Come back birds!" And they do, noticing he's not a serious threat, though he is competition for eating the sunflower seeds from the birdfeeder.
We watch the flurry of wings then return to the bubbles; my son wants a go so I hand him the wand. He presses it to his lips each time, getting a shiny mouth of drippy solution and spattering me with spit and soap. Success comes eventually as the bubbles string along on the wind to the sound of cheering. Again. Again. Then my turn, as I'm directed to send the bubbles "up high." The bottle suddenly spills on the cement pad as I lunge for my son to keep him from toppling off the chair he has climbed. He's not distressed in the slightest; now his feet can play in the bubbles too. He giggles as he dances in the puddle and races around making footprints.
"Two minutes, Mommy, TWO minutes!" cries my slippery boy when I announce it's time to go inside for supper. I give him more time, knowing he's likely to come happily when I say two minutes are over. He needs to have some control in his little world. Once inside, though, bubbles are still on the brain as he's washed and sitting in his chair. He tries to blow bubbles through the tines of his fork after he dips it into his water cup. I retrieve the fork but Geddy still finds delight in making it "rain" as he dumps water on the tray and splats puddles, popping imaginary bubbles.
Naturally he has his whiny moments and his "Geddy need" cries, but he still turns to giggling at the slightest bit of fun distraction. That's his childhood superpower: making moments awesome.
I dream to blow a bubble big enough to surround my son and strong enough to protect him from the not-so-awesomeness in life. Then I waffle and burst that idea as it forms in my brain because if he can go out into the world and see its filth maybe he will light it up a little and wash a corner clean.
Creative Commons: Martin Thomas