The boy and the bubbles

On the sunny Easter Sunday just gone I was hanging out at a beach in Cornwall with a girl friend. While she sat calmly I was fidgeting so I decided to leave her to it for a while to take a walk along the seafront. Passing a seaside shop a box of bubble swords caught my eye. You know the thing; a large plastic test tube of bubble mixture with the wand attached to the handle. They’re fun to use; they make bigger-than-average bubbles and everyone loves to watch them, chase them, pop them… I’ve got a couple of bubble swords at home but I forgot to pack one so when I saw they were only £1.50 I thought I’d treat myself to another and that I could just give it away to a child at the end of the holiday. Children, dogs and even adults love to play with bubbles and as I meandered back along the seafront creating streams of bubbles I enjoyed watching the delight they created.

Later that afternoon, I found myself sitting on a grass verge waiting for a bus, so I took out the bubble sword and started making bubbles to pass the time. From around a bush a little boy appeared, about five years old. His huge white eyes and excited smile gleamed from his dark brown face – he was the cutest thing and I was instantly in love with him. I could see he was nervous but excited, not sure if I’d mind him popping my bubbles. I smiled and encouraged him by blowing more bubbles his way. His Grandmother appeared after a short while saying, “Come on, Izza, these are not our bubbles.” I didn’t really understand what she meant by that so I told them we could share and he stayed a while longer. We took the same bus and ended up waiting for the same train.

On the train platform we had another long wait so I took out the bubbles again, much to the little boy’s delight. I blew bubbles, he laughed and chased and popped them. He was so adorable I actually felt a physical ache in my heart. I gave him the sword so he could use it. He looked so surprised and happy my eyes filled up. I knew he’d appreciate and take care of the bubble sword so I asked him if he wanted to keep it. He appeared shocked and looked up at his Grandmother for her approval. His Grandmother said that yes, he would love to keep it. “Say a big thank you to the kind lady.” “Thank you!” he said loudly with wide eyes and a broad smile.

While Izza was occupied with the bubbles, his Grandmother took me to one side and told me quietly, “Izza’s aunty came from Canada yesterday and brought all four of them a present, and Izza’s oldest brother got bubbles. Izza wanted bubbles instead of the present he got but we told him the bubbles are not yours, Izza, if you want bubbles, you must pray for them. It’s his fifth birthday tomorrow and to teach him the lesson that you get what you pray for we were going to go to the shops early in the morning to get him some bubbles. But now we don’t need to do that.” She smiled at me knowingly and turned back to her Grandson as I stood there speechless while the story – and the lesson – sunk in.