Tiny bubbles

First thing every morning at work, I grab my reusable water bottle and take it to the breakroom to wash out. Just a squirt of liquid dish soap will do, but I always like to give the dish soap bottle a little extra squeeze to make little bubbles come flying out. Every time I do this, I think of the part in Finding Nemo, which I was only blessed to watch at least 50 times when the boys were younger, where one of the aquarium fish becomes overjoyed every single time the bubbles are released. I figure when I release the bubbles from the dish washing liquid, it gives me at least a little smile for the start of the day.

But this morning was different, I found no joy in the bubbles. As many people around the world, I find I have a heavy heart after the weekend’s horrific attacks in Paris. I have a hard time understanding how such evil is even possible.

When such tragic events occur, I find myself longing for the days when my parents were responsible for carrying the burden of worrying about world events. I was happily ignorant throughout my youth, made possible by my parents’ efforts I’m sure of it.

I don’t particularly like this part of being an adult, or a parent. I think I’d rather remain oblivious to current events. I’m certain I’m not saying the right thing to my boys when they have questions. But I suppose as Gerald and I go about our daily business, I hope this shows them that life goes on. If we give in to the terrorists and live in fear and never go anywhere or do anything, then they win. Don’t get me wrong, I have to fight the urge to lock my children up in the house and never let them go anywhere. I do sometimes harbor a fear of something bad happening to my kids, especially after some horrific tragedy, but I know I can’t let that fear take over our lives.

I’m curious how others are dealing with the current world in which we live. Coping mechanisms? What are you telling your kids? I’d love your input.


21 thoughts on “Tiny bubbles”

  1. I don’t have any kids and can’t imagine what it must be like to have to answer their questions, but I was particularly touched by this blogpost => http://iambeggingmymothernottoreadthisblog.com/2015/11/16/the-hummingbird-part-two/ (and of course part one), and the NY Times article about the former Westboro Baptist Chruch member she links to. The similarities are obvious. She, too, was part of an indoctrination that believed they were doing the work of god in all the awful things they did, and was shown a way out by all the people who took it upon themselves to engage with her without hate. More than ever, I am convinced of the value of engaging with people, both on and offline, who spread hatred, even if my gut reaction is just to throw them off my facebook. Even if it’s just a drop in a bucket, it’s all we can do to make them see clearly. Hugs!

    1. Wow, thanks, Trillie. I better work on my hummingbird skills. It IS amazing what a little outreach can do. Not too sure if there’s any hope for some of those ISIS guys at this point but wouldn’t it be awesome to stop the people from joining the terrorist group in the first place. 🙂

  2. At times like this I feel very lucky not to have kids because I’m afraid I couldn’t answer their questions, or that my answers would be rambling and meaningless or I’d say, “Wouldn’t you rather know where babies come from?”
    It’s why I can’t really bring myself to say anything about it at all. I’m not afraid of offending people, but I always try to take a wide perspective, to keep in mind that the world is complicated and that there are no simple answers. But it helps me to listen to others’ thoughts, like yours.
    It helps me that you partly illustrate your grief with bubbles because bubbles are easily broken, they’re so delicate, and I feel like we live in a world of bubbles. Our sense of security and safety can be popped so easily. But all it takes to remake a bubble is a breath.
    And we need the bubbles because without them there’d be no reason to live. And no one can take away the joy we get from the bubbles.

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant by the bubbles. 🙂 I wish I could articulate my thoughts how you articulate yours, Chris. I think I’ve mentioned before that it’s like I won’t let my mind go that deep. Plus I have everything all jumbled in my head and it’s hard to get it all out into anything sensible. Thanks for your thought provoking comment. 🙂

  3. Karen,

    Its a violent planet. I wish I had an answer but unfortunately don’t. I guess we must take pleasure where we can; hug loved ones tighter, take time to gaze at this beautiful world. One of the scarier lessons of Paris is how fragile life is. Its even more reason to appreciate every day.

    1. How true, Laurie. But how I wish it could feel like the same place back when I was a young girl. Like I mention, I’m sure that feeling of security had a lot to do with me simply being oblivious and/or sheltered, but here in the information age, kids hear all about what’s going on. I don’t even try to keep all the bad stuff hidden from the boys because the effort would be in vain.

  4. I think it is important to remember in times like this to make sure we are putting our trust in God our creator and know that He is in control and evil will not win out. Sometimes that is hard to do after Paris but that is why it is important to have faith to know God is with us and for us at all times we just have to reach out to Him. This is what I tell my children and what I fervently believe.
    I also am a firm believer in prayer and to pray for our friends as well as for our enemies even though it is hard to pray for people like that:/

    1. I find it harder and harder to do that with what seems like non-stop violence. I find myself asking the age old question of how/why God let’s these things happen. Sometimes I wish I could burrow my family away and come back out when it’s safe. Guess we’d be hiding away forever though. (Sigh)

  5. There are no explanations. The world is full of mean people and you just have to be the best version of yourself at all times to balance it out. Being afraid is not the answer even when it is all we have–except the tiny bubbles. We have them too.

    1. I just wish it didn’t feel like the mean people are winning. 🙁 But we shall carry on. I was sure to give the dish soap bottle a good squeeze this morning. Bubbles! Bubbles!

  6. I read this post yesterday but wasn’t sure what to say. Even now I don’t know if I have the right words to share. All of these horrible events make me remember the saying, “What happens to one of us happens to all of us”. I hate it that my son is growing up in a world where he has to have safety drills at school where they practice for an active shooter. They lock the classroom door and hide in a closet. But then I remember that all throughout human history, there has always been war and evil acts and yet we somehow survive and carry on. We don’t really have any other choice. You just keep getting up every morning and go about your life and try to find happiness in little things and not worry about what could happen. Because worrying won’t stop bad things from happening anyway.

    1. When my mom starts stressing about her grandkids and this crazy world, I’ll point out to her that each generation has had its challenges, and as bad as it sounds, our kids don’t know any different (than to have intruder drills and the terrorists’ doings). And I think they’ll be okay. At least that’s what I hope and pray.

  7. I’m scared. I don’t usually give world affairs much thought. But for some reason, this time it has rattled me. I keep worrying about my kids going to concert stadiums (Justin Bieber is coming here next June, I’m not even joking when I say that would be a particularly easy venue to bomb, and get a whole lotta people at once). See, these are the things I think about now. You aren’t alone KD.

    1. As if we don’t already have enough to worry about as parents. Who knew how easy it was when all we had to worry about was peer pressure and ‘self-induced’ aaccidents? This terrorist crap makes all that look like a cakewalk. 🙁

  8. This is the first time I can remember my 16 year old tracking world events. He’s been really distressed, and more so over the comments he hears at school about who is to blame and what we should do to or for various groups. I’m sorry to see him feel so bad, but also relieved that he’s not looking at all these events through the desensitized lenses everyone said he’d develop from all those crappy video games he used to play.

    I just listen to him when he wants to talk about it. That seems to help both of us.

  9. I talked about the Paris attacks with my children, but they’re pretty old now (the eldest is virtually an adult), so it wasn’t that hard for me to think what to say. It was more or less a regular conversation.

    I’m not sure what I’d say if my kids were smaller, though. It’s important that kids learn about the world, but it’s also important not to terrify them out of their wits.

    1. As mentioned to Beth (manic mumbling), the kids haven’t really said anything and then I’m not sure if I want to purposely bring it up. I suppose as we go on with our daily lives, and don’t succumb to fear, that’s a good thing.

  10. My oldest was in second grade when 9/11 happened. I tried my hardest to shelter him from it because, honestly, what else is there to do? Why would an 7 year old need to know how scary the world is? Unfortunately, in school it was all the teachers and other kids were talking about. I really struggled with what to say, prayed a lot for the right, best words. And they came in the form of The Magic School Bus 🙂 No kidding. I was reading with Carson, TMSB and The Giant Germ. We read that microbes have lived on Earth for 3 billion years. I stopped and read that again. I said, “Carson, that’s a really, really long time ago!” He said something like, “Yeah, Mom… Keep reading.” But I couldn’t get past how long ago that was, so I got a roll of adding machine tape and we made a timeline. We made a 20 foot timeline. The history of life on Earth. Humans have only been on that timeline— the entirety of human existence!– for the last 1/8 of an inch, maybe. Just a tiny little pencil-width at the end of that timeline. I kinda felt like we were in the Matrix. It changed my life. If humans, the most amazing, wonderful, awful, powerful creatures, have only been on the planet for that long, there must be more to us. This life here on this planet cannot be everything. There has to be more. This life is the blink of an eye.

    So, that’s what Carson and I talked about. What is crazy and awful right now might not even be remembered in a hundred years. It might not even mean anything in a hundred years. But how we treat each other and the love we share, joys we experience will create ripples that last forever.

    Haha! That might be more than you were looking for. I’ve just been thinking about that a lot lately, trying to get my perspective back to a place of peace in my heart.

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