by James Bates
iced camomile tea
My daughter hands me the soapy wand and says, "Here, Mom, your turn." I take it from her and dip it in the solution before whipping it through the air. Allie watches mesmerized as the bubbles form and begin to float away. Then she's all motion as she bolts from my side, running after them, giggling, trying to catch them before they pop and disappear.
Next to me Dad stands watching, arthritic and crippled by the years, yet eyes twinkling with life as he remembers, I can tell, when he and I both played this game. Gently, I touch his arm and hand him the wand. He takes it and reverently holds it for a moment, taping it in his open hand. Then he confidently immerses it in the solution and, like an orchestra conductor with his baton, he moves it with subtle grace in a sweeping arc through the air. We watch as the bubbles come alive and go streaming, floating out on the soft, summer breeze, carrying with them joyful memories of long ago when I was a child and we shared happiness like this together.
Next us, Allie is still, but for only a second. Then in a flash she takes off running with wild abandon, laughing and chasing our bubbles, while Dad leans his tired body against mine and we both watch, grinning from ear to ear.
Abut the author
Jim's research finds that soap bubbles first appeared in Flemish Paintings over 400 years ago. In the 1940's the Chicago company Chemtoy began selling bubble solution to the public and it's been popular with kids (and grownups) ever since. If you like this or other of his stories you can check them out on his blog: www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.