Notice the Bubble - July 14, 2022 | Kids Out and About Denver

Notice the Bubble

July 14, 2022

Debra Ross

When my kids were very young, we used to take them regularly to the section of Rochester's fabulous Strong National Museum of Play designated for kids ages 2 and under. In addition to an array of baby-friendly toys and learning experiences, the area featured perky signs advising parents to talk to their kids as they start to navigate the world. One sign had a pretty photo of a soap bubble, with a message that read:

If your child sees a bubble, you should point to it and say: "I SEE THE BUBBLE."

At the time, this sign struck my husband David and me as obvious bordering on hilarious; it seemed to us that parents engaged enough to bring their kids to this amazing children's museum wouldn't need to be told how to teach their kids the names of things in their world. So over the years, "I see the bubble" became a bit of a catchphrase in the Ross family for when someone is belaboring a point that seems obvious to everyone in the room. "I see the bubble!" we affirm. In other words: Don't worry, I get the picture.

But there's actually a deeper point to "I see the bubble," which I realized when outside recently with a bunch of families. It was hot, really hot, in-the-90s-humid-and-hot. Occasionally, though, Mother Nature would send a gift of a cool breeze, and we'd all stop what we were doing to experience it. "Oh!" we'd say. "Do you feel that? That's just lovely." One of the moms stopped mid-stride to point it out to her kids. "That's what summer is about," she said to me after. "You notice the small things, and it keeps you grateful."

So I now think that's what "I see the bubble" is about: It's not so much that you should TALK about the bubble as that you need to notice it in the first place, and all of the other small things, and help kids notice them, too. What the other mom at the event was saying was that you can choose to notice stuff, or not, and life is better if you choose to notice stuff. Summer provides ample opportunities for us to notice sun on water, insects hovering, the stickiness of a popsicle, and the iridescence of a soap bubble as it floats through the air.

Notice the bubble. Thanks, Strong Museum. I think I finally get the picture.