Archive for February, 2010

The Blue Balloon

Ice Skater
Sparkle Girl turned 11. We had a party with a dozen helium-filled balloons in assorted colors. Mr. Doobins picked out a light-blue balloon to call his own.

Most of the balloons went home with the guests. In a couple of instances, we sent home an extra balloon for a sibling at home.

When everyone was gone, we had four balloons left — a dark-blue one, a hot-pink one, a red one and Mr. Doobins’ balloon.

Left to their own devices, the balloons would float all the way to the ceiling the first day. By the second day, they had lost a little oomph and were floating between the floor and ceiling.

At some point, Mr. Doobins’ balloon began following him around. You might think it was because of static electricity or some other scientific reason. You might think it was because the balloon wanted to be his friend.

That’s what Mr. Doobins thought. He enjoyed having a new friend.

After a while, his friend had lost so much oomph that he could no longer follow Mr. Doobins around.

Mr. Doobins wanted us to take him back to the store and get some more helium.

That wasn’t possible, we said.

We offered to get him a new light-blue balloon.

A new light-blue balloon wouldn’t do, he said. The balloon he already was the one that was his friend, he said.

He took good care of his friend. He carried it around under his arm, and, when it was time for dinner, he sat it down on the table next to him while he ate.

We have since sent the other balloons to balloon heaven. The light-blue one is sitting on the floor in the living room.

I wish this story were going to have a happy ending. But I don’t think it will.