Life Lesson #38
I dip the wand into the thick, soapy liquid. When I pull it out, it runs down my arm. This is meant to simply be entertainment. The first time, I get the wand too close to my mouth as I blow, spitting to the delight of my toddler, who practices this spitting thing after me. Squeals ensue as bubbles explode from the wand, released by the wind instead of me. Some form of disappointment expands within me at this fact. I watch as he toddles after them, arms raised, fingers splayed. He falls, gets back up, toddles more, giggles more. This time, I shield the wind and blow the bubbles myself. When he chases these, it is a sweeter flavor of joy.
Now, he has squatted down. He has spotted a bubble sticking in the grass, quivering in the wind. I watch silently as--with a deliberation that could make the whole world disappear and a smile that is the whole world--he pokes his prize at last, touching it with a tiny pointer finger. Fragile meets fragile. The disappointment is instant, appearing exactly at the same time the bubble pops. With eyes watering from the sun, the wind and the sheer unfairness of a goal reached, he looks up at me with questions I don’t know how to answer, uncertainties I don’t know how to protect him from. So, I simply watch him with my own eyes watering from the wind and the bitter sweetness of life.
I smile and I say, “Precisely, my son.”