Bubble Baths

Once I saw him I knew what had to be done the next morning. I had already tucked my son in for bed, but in doing so I realized that he was covered in dirt from head to toe. The kind of dirty that a three-year old gets when they’ve been playing with their friends all day outside.

No big deal.

I’ll give him a bath first thing in the morning.

Better yet, I’ll give him a bubble bath. He will love that!

What kid wouldn’t?

So as soon as my son woke up at 6 AM I started my sales pitch.

Well my son wasn’t having it.

He did not want to get in the tub. He wanted to play on the Ipad. So being the good parents that we are, we told him he could even eat a popsicle in the tub.

Still fighting tooth and nail.

So I told him I would get in the tub with him. That would be fun. We could play with the bubbles and have a blast.

Nothing but whining and arguing.

Finally, the time had come where we had no choice. My wife picked him up and handed him to me.

And you know what?

He loved it!

Actually we both had a good time. He got to be the shark and I got to be the turtle. I really didn’t think that was fair since I am 41 years older than him and I should get to pick first, but I digress.

As always, it is during these moments with my kids that I learn about life. It is during these moments that I try to find some connection to what it is I do for a living. It is during these moments that I think, could I share this in a way that may be meaningful for someone else?

And I think I have it!

You see, we are a passionate bunch. If you have taken the time to read this far then I’m certain I am right. And because of our passion for what we do, there are times when we are surprised, confused and maybe even a little bit upset when others don’t share our passion.

We may have planned what we thought would be the most engaging lesson ever! We had props, we had music, we stayed up all night preparing.

Our students weren’t impressed.

Or maybe we tried to share just how awesome it is to be a connected educator. We show others the benefits of Twitter, we explain how they can connect with Voxer and we even share a blog piece or two from a fellow PLN member who inspires us.

Still nothing.

We can’t stop there!

We must remember:

“Bubble baths are only fun for those that are in the tub.”

Until we got my son’s actual body in the bathtub he wasn’t  convinced that the bubble bath was a good idea.

It took me getting in the tub, putting bubbles all over my face and blowing some bubbles in his direction to even get him to entertain the possibility.

But once he was in.

That was it!

I had him!

I think we need to remember this as we head into the new school year. I know we are planning awesome lessons and I know we are sharing our passions and I know we are creating visions that we hope will inspire. But there will be times when others will not share our enthusiasm. We can’t let that discourage us.

Just like my son and the bubble bath, we must pull out all the stops.

We need to be in the tub ourselves.

We can’t worry about looking silly.

We need to blow some bubbles in their direction.

Whatever it takes!

Because once we have them in the tub.

Once a bubble grazes their cheek.

Once they actually get to blow some themselves.

They’re in.

And once they’re in?

Good luck getting them out!

Because what’s more fun than blowing bubbles?

bubble bath

* As an aside I must point out that this summer I have shared my passion with the staff that I serve. And guess what? They jumped in right away! I guess I was just lucky! But I do realize that there may be times when I have to blow some bubbles, look silly and jump in the tub. That’ okay, I’ll be ready.








  1. Well done my friend. Point well taken….As a school leader, I am reminded of the need to get right in there with the staff. Love these posts!! Keep ’em coming…

  2. Hi James, I think this post is great. Not just because as I write this my 3 year old is refusing to get in the bath, but because I am trying to bring change in my school too. It’s a long journey of ups and downs just like being a parent. Archie now won’t have a bath but will shower (with some persuasion)! So what do I need to do to get the same results in school…?? After all bath or shower gets the same results.

  3. As a school leader trying to make change, I can get discouraged when people don’t jump on board with my passion. Love this analogy! It will definitely keep me going!

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