Thursday, May 5, 2011
I remember blowing bubbles for a Baby Nugget. He was a summer baby, and we didn't have a/c in our WA house. There were a couple weeks where it would be 10 degrees hotter inside the house than outside. I'd put a blanket or beach towel down on the prickly dead lawn and blow scented bubbles from the Dollar Tree, and a sweaty, cranky baby boy would startle, then focus calmly on the translucent orbs floating up in the sky. Only for a few minutes, because I couldn't put sunscreen on his brand new skin.
The next year, we'd pack them up and take them with us to a park, the bubbles always in risk of leaking on the Gerber puffs in my overstuffed diaper bag. A handsy Nugget would take a few seconds to coo and grab at the bubbles but then make a clumsy yet persistent swipe for the bottle in my hands.
The following summer was his first in the Midwest. I'd hold the bottle and let him try to blow, but he'd only dip the wand into his mouth again and again. Sputtering and dribbling soapy drool down his chin. It would attract sand to his face like a gritty goatee.
Our second summer here, we discovered the no-spill bubble tumblers, and bubbles would become a more independent outdoor activity. Last summer, the Nugget would blow and blow in frustration, and after a few weeks, he mastered the slow gentle breaths that yielded beautiful bubbles. Only for a moment, then he would tire of the activity and toss them to the ground in search of new fun. Or he would shake and shake the tumblers until the soap foamed and lost its ability to make a satisfying bubble.
This year, we pulled out the tumblers and refilled them with fresh solution from a giant neon yellow bottle. All but one have lost their decorative decals and they are scuffed from being dropped on the cement. Thanks to Daddy's diligent hunting, they still each have a wand. The Nugget ran right to them, and created what is, for me, the harbinger of summer. Behold, the bubbles.