I remember the first time I saw a kid in my 4th grade class blow a bubble within a bubble while they were chewing gum. It was fascinating to me, like how could something so flexible and thin – weak, I thought – possibly become a home for something else? How could there still be room in there? It just… defied logic. And now, here you are. Doing the same for me, 20-something years later.
I’d thought my bubble was fully formed long before you came along. I’d had my family and my friends and kind of a weird job and things were fairly on track for wherever it is they’re supposed to be heading. And then your bubble formed – small and tiny – and it grew and grew while I stayed the same size and I just kind of assumed I’d pop from the pressure.
But then something weird happened. I grew. I grew so you could grow, too – so that I could make room for the experiences we’d need to have together. And now, my bubble seems just huge. Like it’s at full capacity and you’re at full capacity and surely, we’re going to pop from the pressure yet again. How could there be room for more love? More us? Surely I’ll burst from the good and the bad and the everything that awaits us?
But then I know that one day I’m going to laugh at how small our bubbles truly were. Because gosh, humans – like bubble gum – are so malleable. We bend and flex and survive and sure, sometimes we pop, but then we remold into something larger – watermelon-flavored and speckled.
And then, yet another day, my bubble will grow thin and yours will grow strong, bonding to someone else entirely. And we’ll separate, but not really. Because the trick about gum is that – long after the flavors are gone and the jaw is tired – it’s still just as sticky as ever.