There’s something about a helium balloon. Just one, on its own, evokes feelings of youthful happiness. A reminder of when times were simpler, when one balloon tied to the wrist could make me believe I was special. There’s something magical about how it floats upwards. Happily, it seems to bounce with me as we walk in unison. Laughing and smiling together. We are friends. Until we are not. That feeling of controlling something, I am in charge. It pulls away from me. I know it wants to fly away from me, but it cannot. I’m obsessed with keeping it close to me now. But I look away for just a second and shift my focus for just a second, knowing it cannot get away. Until it does. And that is the biggest lesson in disappointment. Overconfidence. Thinking I had it all figured out until, uh oh, there it is lifting higher and higher into the sky. People point. I point. Feeling forlorn. It becomes just a speck in the sky until it disappears completely.
And here is my daughter’s helium balloon, floating around the living room as the heater turns on. It’s safe inside these walls. My daughter barely notices the balloon; I didn’t tie it to her wrist and let her make friends. I kept it safe for her. I didn’t want to risk the tears that come from seeing it fly away forever. My mistake. How many times have I made this mistake without even noticing?
I want to watch the lessons my children will learn in their future helium balloon adventures now that I am aware of what I am watching. Maybe they will lose their balloons to the sky, maybe they will choose to let go. Maybe they will be tender and caring so the balloon always stays near. Maybe they will cherish the balloon all the way until it falls flat and must be thrown out. Whatever happens, it is their lesson, it is a simple piece of what shapes and molds their character, and I am here to support them. I shall not get in the way as an overprotective mommy. I instead, will let go of that control, as I should have years ago with my helium balloon. Lesson learned. Again.
This post was inspired by the DP Weekly Challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/writing-challenge-object/