Post by Jessica R.
There must be something magical about balloons because even tiny infants will stare at them in wonder as they bob and weave in the air. The fascination doesn’t wear off for a long time, so your typical two-year-old will be just as mesmerized as your four-year-old and both will shape right up when you promise them a balloon as a reward for good behavior while walking through a store. Or at least mine will.
It worked beautifully yesterday as we maneuvered our way through a very packed and very chaotic Trader Joes. What could have truly been a disastrous shopping trip went very smoothly, all thanks to the promise of a balloon at the cash register.
One daughter got a pink balloon, the other a purple one and all was well.
That is, until we got home, the little one got out of the car and promptly let go of the string. She watched it go up, up, up. And in a tiny voice alerted us to the issue by saying “I want my balloon.” But by then it was far too late for any of us to grab it as it made its escape. All we could do was watch it float away helplessly.
Her big eyes filled with tears and her bottom lip trembled. She watched her purple treasure get smaller and smaller, and I saw the wail start to build.
This wasn’t a tantrum, this was pure sorrow. I scooped her up and held her tight and whispered whatever came to mind.
“Your balloon is going on an adventure! Let’s wave bye bye and wish it luck! Where do you think the balloon is going to go?”
She looked at me with a glimmer of hope in her eyes. “Balloon come back here?”
Her eyed filled with brand new tears when I told her that it wasn’t coming back. Her little lips turned down into a small sad pout and stayed that way until her sister came to offer her her very own balloon in exchange for the one that had gotten away. Then, with the promise of a pink balloon waiting inside, we waved to the purple one one last time and went inside, smiles and wonder restored.