“I didn’t bring a balloon home from religious education tonight mom, because I know you don’t like them” said my newly 12-year-old daughter. I wanted to argue, and say, “Of course I like balloons, who doesn’t,” but I could not. That would be a lie. I wonder when this ‘dislike’ of balloons started. It as not a childhood trauma, it’s not the loud popping sound, it’s not some single horrible event. It’s the crazy. Realizing this makes me sad. I love celebrations. I adore planning parties and special days. I spend hours plotting out the perfect menu, baking, planning the most special gifts. I revel in celebrating people I love. I really like other things generally associated with celebrations-like glitter, streamers and sprinkles. The sad reality is that I dislike balloons because when my triplets were active, joyful toddlers and got ahold of balloons crazy mania would ensue. To my credit, the insanity would generally end in a disagreement of some kind, but still, why was the balloon mania such a horrible thing? Perhaps it’s the loss of control, I like to feel like I have semblance of control over a situation, even if it’s a controlled chaos. I feel like this will be a regret I carry with me. I will not get back the young kiddo days where I could have encouraged them to go crazy with balloons. Those days are firmly sealed in the past. I like to think that there were plenty of other wonderful memories made in those years so that I can cross my fingers that the lack of balloons will not scar my children forever. But what I can do, is change the future. Just last week I searched balloons on Pinterest. I adore the colorful images and creative arches I saw, they made me smile. For my father in law’s birthday celebration last weekend I encouraged one of my girls, my party decorator, to blow up and use the package of balloons in the drawer. She and my husband spent time creating a balloon smiley face on our barn table room wall. It was perfect. Naturally, after the party the balloons were taken down. My daughter loaded them up in her arms to throw in the trash bin. I stopped her, “No, don’t throw them away, not yet…” She dropped them to the floor, and there they have stayed for several days. The dog enjoyed a rousing game of goalie late Saturday night, we laughed and laughed at his antics, until it popped and he freaked out. There are two balloons in the girls bedroom. My son can be found throwing a balloon off the wall. When the heat kicks on, one or two slowly migrate across the floor. We are savoring balloons. We are continuing the celebration by allowing the little silver orbs of joy to float around our home this week. Sometimes it’s a little crazy, but often it’s just a flutter, a soft reminder of a party, of a celebration, of a childhood. It’s not too late to savor the crazy of balloons. From this day forward, I will say yes to balloons.
Originally written in 2016