Yesterday was a perfect day for blowing bubbles, but I couldn't find my bubbles until last night, so I blew bubbles on the deck this afternoon in honor of yesterday, watching the rainbow bubbles floating all about me and feeling happy.
When my children were young, I bought quarts of bubbles at a time. The kids and I would blow bubbles because it was a happy day, a sad day, or just a regular day that seemed to require bubbles. We would laugh and chase the bubbles about, trying to catch one of the rainbow-colored spheres, believing it would bring good luck or grant a wish. We would laugh as whatever dog we had tried to catch a bubble, only to have it burst on her nose. We would laugh because bubbles are fun. Any day becomes a better day when you blow bubbles together. That is why yesterday was a perfect day for blowing bubbles.
Yesterday was my middle son's birthday. 24 years ago on July 14, Hugh was born. When each of my four children was born, I was euphoric. My heart felt like it would burst with joy, but it did not burst, instead my heart stretched to include one more child, one more blessing. The moment each child was placed in my arms, I felt more complete than the moment before, and it is impossible to imagine the world without each of my four children in it.
Hugh's birth held a special surprise--he was our only child to be born who didn't have a complicated, death-defying birth. He was our only child whose umbilical cord Gordon got to cut. He was our only child we got to see turn from blue to pink while lying on my chest, and he began to nurse immediately. Because he was so "well-born," Gordon wanted me to change the middle name we had agreed on of Gwydion to Evan because Evan means well-born one. I felt apprehensive about this, superstitious in a way, sure we should stick with Gwydion and not call attention to the ease of Hugh's birth, but Gordon was insistent. Had I known you could have two middle names, I would have named our son Hugh Evan Gwydion, but I thought you could only have one middle name. Completely illogically, I will always believe that had I stuck with Gwydion, Hugh would have avoided schizophrenia.
But Hugh did not avoid schizophrenia. Eight years ago, he had his psychotic break, and his paranoia and delusions keep us from celebrating his birthday together, or even contacting him at all. Hugh's schizophrenia has taught me about a kind of love I did not know existed--a sad, patient love of open, empty arms waiting, with an everlasting wisp of hope, to welcome Hugh home with a giant hug.
Until that moment comes, however, I shall continue to blow bubbles because when I'm blowing bubbles, I am momentarily transported back in time to our deck in the Santa Cruz mountains, and I feel the happiness and hear the laughter of all of my four children and me as we try to catch a rainbow-colored bubble without breaking it. Perhaps if I can catch a bubble one day, that will be the day that Hugh comes home with his schizophrenia vanquished forever.
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