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Posted on March 19, 2015 by Christine Crosby in blowing bubbles, Bob Niles, granddaughter, grandpa

A Magical Experience With Your Grandkids: Cheap Too

By Grandpa Bob Niles

So many grandparents fret over what fun things they can do with their grandchildren that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Grandpa Bob Niles shares one wonderful way…

bub-ble (bub/-l) n. a hollow globe of water or other liquid blown out with air or gas

It’s no wonder my granddaughter loves bubbles so much. Imagine building a hollow globe of liquid soap, and then releasing it into a beautiful Summer day to dance but for a few moments on the whispering edges of a warm sunny breeze. To wonder at it’s rainbow reflection on a surface so thin and fragile that it’s viewed only but for a brief moment.

Oh sure there’s the occasional bubble that lives far beyond expectations. The one that floats past the tree over the fence into the neighbors yard, then it’s slammed by a rouge breeze into a blue flannel shirt on old lady Griffins’ clothesline. You hail it as new world record holder as you dance with triumph. But this miracle is not mourned, others are produced as fast as you can breath in and out.

This small miracle that I have come to take for granted is not lost on her. She dances and laughs with each and every one she can. Each new bubble is a new friend. Each new bubble has a different character. Some bubbles are fat and heavy and sit down quick. “They don’t like to dance.” she giggles “They lost their breath too quick!” Some bubbles pop as soon as they’re given the breath of life. “Boomers” she calls them. Most bubbles linger for awhile, dance a bit, blend in with the others and then they’re gone….kind of like most our lives. But a few bubbles become legends in song.

She runs into the house (can’t blow bubbles inside) and in a sing- song high-pitched soliloquy, some parts only audible to the dog, breathlessly recounts their plight. She starts each story, and here I’m not 100% sure but the dog thinks so, with “Guess what?” Then dancing from one foot to the other she acts out the story of  ‘Floaty the Runaway Bubble.’ “I blowed softly for like a real long time,” pant pant puff (she always talks like she’s just finished the one-hundred yard dash) “and then, and then I thought it was going to explode. But it didn’t! It started to go up, and then it went down! And then almost clunked me on the head! And then it just flew over me!” pant puff pant pant puff, “then it almost landed in Charlotte’s pool! Then Scratchy chased it and almost caught it……..but then it went up ( it’s here you should try to imagine some sort of ballet move that looks like it might hurt because she’s in that position) and just missed Daddy’s basketball hoop, and then guess what? (by this time the dogs howling) it popped, it just popped and disappeared!”

I watched as my granddaughter danced her story. A story that couldn’t be accurately told without interpretive arm and leg movements. Her constantly moving limbs match her hazel brown eyes that move to even the slightest distraction as she pirouettes around the room. Her black bubble stained tee-shirt could easily be confused for a young girl who managed to flee the clutches of an eight, no twelve armed octopus attack. And her dirty sticky bare feet speak of bubbles that didn’t get away.

And, then as quick as her story started….guess what? She’s gone! Some invisible rope tied around her waist had yanked her back outside. Slam! Goes the screen door. “Watch out!  Oooh oooh get up there! Move over! Higher!” sings my granddaughter from the back porch as she directs another batch of new found friends.

I sit back in my leather recliner and half-heartily turn my attention back to my wide screen TV. All 105 channels of it! All available for my personal pleasure 24 hrs. a day seven days a week in HD. And I sit there, jealous of the total love and enjoyment my granddaughter has for the simplest form known to nature. The sphere. And it’s a sphere in it’s simplest form, made from liquid.

Why can’t I love something that much? Oh I love my kids…most of them. And my grandchildren….all of them, but why can’t I obtain the simplest form of pleasure? That being love. Love from something I have or like to do. I want to L O V E to do something or to have something again! Is it because with age we can’t have love without desire? If I was going to blow a bubble I would think about making it bigger than my granddaughter did. To impress her, it’s what we do. It would have to go higher and further and last longer….love lost.

The desire to blow a better bubble has made it a competition, but only to you, not the child. She still celebrates every bubble. Love has left the equation. Desire and competition have set in. Polluted love. Or is our now understanding of love changed? We love our spouses. That’s a fancy name for husband or wife, you know the one at the other end of the couch each night. We look across at them in all their evening, ready for bed glory and remember a time not so long ago. Then you go look in the mirror and thank them for staying on. We still love them, but some of the shine is gone. Its sad to think I’ll never love something ever again as simple and purely as she loves bubbles. That kind of innocent love is rewarded to the very young.

Remember to celebrate it with them. Colour, blow bubbles, take walks, watch cartoons don’t feel silly being a fairy princess grandpas and dads, because, that love she has for bubbles is only one tenth of the love she has for you.

Thank-you Gabriella and Charlotte!

Author Bob Niles is an adoring grandfather who loves to share humorous stories about his amazing grandkids


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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