Thursday, July 05, 2012


This is going to be a long and tiresome campaign season.

It seems to me that on one side we have people who want to move forward, making changes with an eye to the future and on the other side are people who want to restore the glory days of the past. Each of these approaches contains a little good and a little bad but I’m all for moving forward.

I understand why some want to go back, though. They look back and see a simpler, safer time when time itself didn’t move at the breakneck speed it seems to today. As parents, we want to protect our children. It’s our job. We sometimes wish we could place a bubble around our children to protect them from all the bad stuff out there: bumps, bruises, bad guys and broken hearts.

But we can’t.

I know this desire to protect loved ones motivates many political conservatives. They want their government to mirror the values they teach their children. They want to shield them from those who would teach them that any other way of life is acceptable. They want to preserve the world they’ve carefully created for their families and keep out the changes they don’t want.

But they can’t.

Life brings with it changes that cannot be anticipated. Some we are prepared for, some not. But change will come, with or without our cooperation. How you face that change is your choice.

When I was a teenager I sang in the youth choir at my church. Every year we performed a musical and sometimes we took it on tour during the summer. I often played my guitar, once sang a brief solo part, but always sang in the alto section.

And once, I danced a can-can.

The musical told a story about a youth choir rehearsing for the performance of a musical. One song was called “Bubbles and Fizz”, an energetic, enthusiastic number with a really boring alto part on the chorus. We girls in the alto section had no trouble pretending to be teenagers cutting up during a choir rehearsal. As we started to sing that one note that we knew lasted for an interminable number of measures, we linked arms and started kicking up our heels like Rockettes in formation. By the end of the note I confess there was more giggling than singing. We expected our choir director to tell us to knock it off and behave ourselves. But he decided to keep it in and told us to go with it and make the most of it since it fit the story. So we hammed it up, enthusiastically high kicking on the back row at each performance.

I remember the lyrics to that song like it was yesterday. Once you got past the rah-rah part the song slowed and came to a thoughtful resolution:

When it’s over and that’s all there is
Fading bubbles, disappearing fizz
Songs and words, you can forget them, said
Your commitment’s gone.
The feeling’s dead.

You can live in a bubble if you want to.

But bubbles won't last. They fizzle and fade and disappear.

The world will continue to change around you. As a parent I think the best thing is to try to give kids the tools they need to live in the world as it is and teach them how to change it for the better.

Maybe they can make the changes we couldn’t.


  1. Wonderful!I watch real Time w Bill Maher and he does a segment about politicians who live in the "bubble" where time has stopped and they yearn for "the good old days". Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and maybe the days weren't as good as remembered.I choose to move forward in faith,grateful for the chances I receive.

  2. So true. And you really can't go back and expect things to change or not to change as you see fit :)

    The world doesn't work that way.

    Great blog :)

  3. Thank you Donna, yes the good old days feel good because we were younger and because, with time, the pain fades faster than the glory. When I was a kid, life was indeed simpler, but women had far fewer rights, people of color had almost no rights, and gay people had none at all. I for one do NOT want to be stuck in that bubble!

    1. You are so right about "the pain fading faster than the glory" and about those whose rights were so limited in the past! I love the way you worded that! Thank you for commenting!

  4. Exactly!

    By "protecting" your children you are actually hindering them because they don't learn the art of overcoming hardship; by doing things for your child they don't learn how to do things for themselves. I always say, "never do for a child what he can do for himself."

    You can't protect your children from the world. Instead, you must raise strong children who can navigate and survive within it.

  5. Change is hard!
    Great blog!
    Love the long hair!

  6. I needed to read this. TY