I’ve always called Joita Bubbles, having to do with my dad. Ever since she was an infant, any time I’d be strongly thinking of my dad, with the specific thought, “man, he would love her”, I would see a bubble floating by. Not each and every time has it happened, but often enough that I’ve taken notice. Anyway, last week during our family vacation on Cape Cod, I decided to take Bubbles fishing. Fishing was the thing I did with my dad. So taking and teaching his namesake fishing felt like a lovely connection. I set her up on the shore at the beach. And I went a few yards away. As I fished I looked up into the sky and said, “hey dad, it would be great if she could catch something. Anything. Even a minnow. Can’t you help her out?” Shortly after that Joita started calling out, “Help! Help! I have a fish! It’s breaking my rod! I can’t reel it in!” Before racing over to her I looked up at the sky and said, “Thanks dad. But um, well, you usually were the one who took the fish off the hook and, well, I don’t actually want to touch it.” And I ran over to help her. She’d reeled the fish in and it was dangling, all 4 inches of it, just above the sand when suddenly the fish gave one good shake and flipped cleanly off the hook. It landed in the sand at the edge of the water and seemed to look right up at us. Then it flipped one more time and joined the tide to swim away. Joita and I looked at each other and I thought, “No way did that just happen.”
A couple, not far away, asked if they could get their boat into the water as long as both our fishing lines were in. I stood by Jo, delighting in her pride, listening to her recount her fierce adventure reeling in that whale of a fish as the couple edged their small sailboat into the water. As they drifted into the ocean, the back of their boat came into view. Neatly painted on the stern, dancing, winking, smiling, sailing sweetly away from us was the boat’s name: MY BUBBLES.
No way did that just happen.