We've always had the occasional balloon around the house, some with helium and some without. Recently though, Xander learned (as most of us do at a young age) that a balloon could teach him a lesson in physics.
There's a little grocery store Xan and I love, called Trader Joe's, where they have specialty foods and little shopping carts for kids. With gas being $4/gallon we don't go out of the way to shop there, but it's close to Xander's occupational therapy facility so we make a trip every other Wednesday to stock up on some of Xan's special foods, as they're much cheaper here than at the larger retailers.
On this particular day they had blown up a lot of balloons, and Xander was offered one by the cashier. He doesn't really have a favorite color so I had no idea what he'd pick, but I was impressed with his selection of a magnificent purple balloon. Jason of course would say that it would be the obvious choice, as it is an LSU color, but it really was probably the prettiest balloon they had. It wasn't one of those opaque, filmy-colored balloons, but a translucent, deep purple that you could see someone in through the other side. Very satisfied with his selection Xander's balloon was tied around his wrist and he was warned to hold on to it tightly so that it didn't blow away outside.
It wasn't good enough to just have the balloon, but it had to come with us for the rest of the day. He even took it next door to Meijer, where it kept bopping me in the head as I pushed the cart. It rode him on his arm, came in the house and stayed through dinner. It reminded me of the French movie The Red Balloon, which I watched a lot in kindergarten.
The movie is about a little boy who has a balloon follow him all the time, basically like a stalker. I don't know if it was because we really liked it, or because there was no dialogue which made it quiet, but our kindergarten teacher used to show this movie all the time. Unlike most movies from elementary school where I was more fascinated watching the light come out of the projector, I used to face forward for this movie and actually watch it.
Then after dinner the balloon followed us outside. There was yet again another reminder of making sure to hold on to the balloon even though it's tied around our wrist, because it could slip off and float away. And then it did. And it was quick. As soon as the screaming started and we looked up, the balloon had already risen way above the house. Jason offered to pick Xander up and take him to the front yard so he could watch it's ascent and he actually agreed. So off we went, the four of us, to the front yard to watch the balloon. Without any trees around it was free of obstruction and headed pretty much due north as it traveled upward. Xander wanted to know if it was going to see Jesus and we told him probably. We said maybe Jesus was having a bad day and needed some cheering up by a big purple balloon. What else could we say? Even the next night he woke up crying about the balloon. He wanted to know if he prayed to Jesus would he tell the balloon he missed him. I assured him this would probably work, but that it wasn't going to make his balloon return and I don't think he liked that too much.
But since then we've had more balloons. We went to Red Robin for lunch on Father's Day, where they pass out balloons. He chose purple yet again, though it was more like an opaque lavender. And then last week we were back to Trader Joe's, where they only had white balloons available. He wasn't nearly as satisfied with either of these choices, but he has learned to hold on to them. So much so that now we have a balloon collection tied to the back of his chair in the kitchen. At some point we'll have to figure out a way to explain how balloons just "disappear" after we've carefully kept a handle on them, but that will have to be another day.
5 years ago