Late one Sunday afternoon we had just arrived home and were unloading the cars. We had been at our son’s best friend’s fifth birthday party. We had two cars with us because I had worked that morning and while Mrs. Daddio and Junior had been on time as per their modus operandi I had to join the festivities after they had already been well underway. Junior had a great time at the party and in spite of his parent’s not so secret wishes for the opposite, after hours of constant activity there were few signs of his slowing down.
As we went about our business Jr stood with us chatting away happily on the front lawn. When some neighbors from up the road passed on a walk across the street Jr struck up a conversation with them, loudly! He was laughing and joking. He is going through this funny little stage where he teases people. I’m not fond of it and like other “bad” habits we are working and talking our way out of it. For now if you run across him please know that there is nothing personal when he says, “Ha, ha, na, na, NA, NA you can’t catch me.” Followed by a Jekyllish laugh of, “Ha, ha, ha!”
This time he had a balloon that had been gifted him by the hosts of the party we had just been at. I had wanted to tie it to his wrist before he had gotten in mom’s car for the ride home but he had insisted otherwise so I relented. I was making my way towards him to;
- have a talk with him about how he was teasing the neighbors who were kind enough to have stopped to talk with him from across the road and
- protect his “balloon(ing)” interests before they went up, up and away forever like so many 20th century stock market bubbles.
I was juggling the various odds and ends that I had removed from the trunk as I approached him. He was at the neighbors, “Na, na, ha, ha. I have a balloon and you don’t.” Thankfully everyone took his humor in good stride. As I neared the point finally tipped and up it went. It wavered for just a few second, the breeze stilled by the houses. I was right there and it was in reach but by the time I had juggled everything into one arm and bent to leap the wind pick up again and it was gone…and we were all so sad. The tears flowed. Jr cried. Between tears and sobs he projected, “that he would never see that balloon again. It had gone to the stars.” And up, up it went until it was out of view. The neighbors hung their heads and went home. In we went too, dealing in damage control as best we could.
The next morning I woke early. We had arranged for a day at the beach and a barbecue with friends. We were responsible for the tube steaks and fixings and I needed to get to the grocer early to pick up supplies. Jr and Mrs. Daddio remained in slumber as I fixed myself a coffee before heading out the door. Dawn had just broke. I was excited to be on schedule as I headed out the door.
About a month prior I had installed a little faux picket fence at each yard corner. It was my little tribute to Americana. As I stepped out the door wasn’t I surprised to see attached to my little faux Americana tribute a red novelty balloon similar to the one we had lost the night before!!!
My first thought in foresight seems silly, “How did someone track down that lost balloon?”
Of course upon closer examination the balloon turned out to be different. Our lost balloon had a Mickey Mouse caricature on it and the new one displayed Elmo’s smile. Can you believe that someone took the effort to go out to the store late at night to replace Jr’s lost love and woke up before the sun to tie it to our fence? Do you believe that someone took all of that effort in today’s world where the message is so often negative to mend our son’s heart…and mine too? Do you still believe in people?
The other morning I was thinking how ironic this entire story was. A number of months ago I changed my signature tag line on my e-mail to partially read; “Help yourself by helping others. Participate in random acts of kindness and be nicest to those that mean the most to you.” Never in a thousand years though did I expect such a random act of kindness to be practiced upon us!
Peace and love all.