Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blue Whales and Bubbles

Sharks, jellyfish, blowfish and bubble bottles. Baby Boy sat in a sea of bubble trouble, content to inhale large amounts of oxygenated silliness as they tickled his nose and made him laugh. Water running. Bubbles bubbling. Playing. Splashing. Imaginating. Total abandon. Joy.
"Look, Mimi! as the google-eyed fish swirled under the foamy pile of suds, "He's gonna drown! The other fishes can't save him!" and then, of course, he dived in to rescue his rubber fish friends. All was well in SuperBubble Man's world once again.

They sloshed and galoshed under the faucet. I had a nice long talk with the blue whale about what BabyBoy wants to be when he grows up (I'm guessing Marine Biologist). He talked back and we had a lively sudsy frolic. We were having a marvelous bath time!

And just when I thought we'd solved No Fish Left Behind..... Baby Boy's shark began to argue with the green google-eyed blowfish.
Arrrhhhhgg! Arrrrrghhhhhgggdddd! roared my sweet little boy as they tumbled in the milky fray.
It wasn't a peaceful sound at all.

"You don't want them to fight, do you?
If you're not careful, Baby Boy, they'll end up in a war."

Splashing ceased. He stopped playing. I've never seen such a puzzled look. I could see the wheels turning in his mind ....did I do something wrong, Mimi?....
Staring at me with suds on his face he asked,

"What's a war?"

Oh God.
I didn't want to tell him.

He's four. Every moment of his blessed little existence has been without knowing. He has no frame of reference for hell.  Why did I want to give him one now? How could I ruin his innocent play with the ugly truth? What would I say?

It was not about my answer at all.
But his question.

I was absolutely spellbound. I did not want to break it.
I wanted to freeze it. Forever.
I did not want to look away.

So I took a moment. Or two. Then another.... and another...because it was so beautiful in those eyes that never saw war.......wondering what it would be like to exist in a world where the question is answered only in history books and not with the hopeless reality of children drowning in deserts and playing with bombs. I took a good long gaze and I prayed and I willed it to be so because I tell you it was true that moment. It was not a naivete I witnessed in those deep blue waters of his, but a moment of reality - his world knew nothing else - and I craved it. 
I saw it. I wanted it. In the suds and the bubbles with wayward whales and beautifully innocent stares there was a grace that came. And in the trusting, questioning eyes of my blue-eyed boy who loves me as purely and completely as I have ever known, I knew he'd brought a gift just for me. Today.

And I, without apology, soaked in the silence of unadulterated peace.
One precious bubble at a time.

So we talked about getting along and being kind and why the blue shark shouldn't beat up on the blowfish and how sometimes things get out of hand and you can't go back to the peaceful bubbles ever ever again.....or at least for a very long time.
Because he asked me.
Because he trusts me....
I told him the truth.

And when it was told I wanted to wash him all over again.

Not this generation or the next.
But someday, there will be a blue-eyed bubbly child who asks the question....

and the answer will be different.

Join us for BlogBlast For Peace Nov 4, 2012
 #blog4peace #peace
*reprinted from 2008*


The Gal Herself said...

I loved this post, even though it stirred an unpleasant but important memory. Two years ago, when my nephew was 9, we visited the Lincoln Presidential Museum. Up until that day, he thought "slavery was like having a really bad boss." He was very upset by what he learned -- especially the exhibit that explained auctions and was illustrated by a small boy crying into his mother's skirt as his father is sold away.

It's important that he learn about things like the Holocaust, slavery and war because he has to learn the consequences of ignorance and hate. But it's hard to see the look on a young man's face when he learns the sad truth.

ANNA-LYS said...

Brilliant, simply brilliant!
and I loved the pictures to illustrate the story!

Love, Peace n' Understanding

Travis Cody said...

This post, and the comment by Gal above, and so many other anecdotes...these all show me that we're not born with hate. We have to learn how to hate, and how to wage war.

Let's teach peace instead. Let's learn to wage peace instead.

Let's be worthy of a 4 year old's innocent trust.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Mimi, you write so beautifully and this was the best post ever! Imagine a consciousness that does not know war. How sad all that he will learn of this poor world. But with a mom who works for peace he is already ahead ofthe game, he already has hope - because YOU do. Beautifully writen. I think you should submit this piece to the New York Times or some other big paper. Honestly. More people need to read this!

Anonymous said...

I hope some day the answer will be different too. Beautifully written with a message for all of us.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Baby Boy is so danged lucky to have his most wonderful Mimi

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