This is a three-part story.
Yesterday Cheekers and I ran errands while Sydney went with Daddio to help a friend move. One of our errands was the grocery store. Yesterday we went to the grocery store that hands out green and purple balloons. (Another store hands out red, white and blue balloons.)
Cheekers wasn't particularly in a bad mood during our errands, but she wasn't in an extra happy mood either. Then she got her balloon. When we got to the section of the store that has the balloons, she said, "oh, I want green one!" So we got the green one and continued on.
We shopped around, we selected our food, we checked out and went out to Vanna to go home. All the while Cheekers kept a tight hold on her green balloon.
I put the groceries in Vanna and then began to buckle in my girl. The green balloon was tied in an expandable knot so it could fit easily on her wrist. Putting her into her car seat, I had to slide the balloon off of her wrist in order to get her arm through the seatbelt. When her arm was in, and she was all buckled, I put the balloon back on her wrist, she smiled - and we were ready to go.
The next thing that happened went in slow motion - like the movies. I pressed the side door button to Vanna to close Cheekers' door. Then I turned and walked around the front of the van to go to my door. I turned and looked back when I got to my headlights and I noticed - the balloon was sticking outside of the van door. Oh no. I ran back over to the door to open it, to get the balloon back inside. Before I could get there, it was too late.
At the same moment I opened the van door, the balloon string broke in the door and the green balloon began to softly float into the air. I watched the balloon floating away while the door finished opening. Then I turned and looked at Cheekers. Her once bright smile, just a mere seconds ago, before the door closed, was now a sullen face. Her eyes caught the green balloon floating into the air.
She looked at me, and with curled lips said, "Mommy, you did that on purpose." My heart dropped. Doing things "on purpose" versus "on accident" gets brought up in our household quite a bit. "Oh Sweetie, I am so, so sorry. Mommy definitely didn't do that on purpose. Your green balloon just got caught in Vanna's door before Mommy noticied. Oh Cheeks, I am so sorry."
She and I watched the green balloon float. Moments passed, and balloon got higher and higher, past the trees, high in the sky. Then Cheekers said something I will never forget - "well, it's something for the birdies to play with." (cue the tears.)
My girl, realizing her green balloon was no longer hers; but at least her birdie friends would be able to have some fun in the sky.
Last night the Hubby and I had a date. Our original plan was to go to a movie, but it was sold out. So we ended up going out for sushi. Dinner was a better plan because it gave us time to catch up on all the little stories we seem to miss or forget by the end of the day. I told Hubby the story of the green balloon. He was moved like I was by our girl's kind heart.
After dinner, we decided to go drive downtown to go walk around. We were driving on the highway, chatting. Hubby took an exit I was unsure of. I said, "where are you going?" He said, "I saw something, you'll see." We drove the opposite direction we had been going until he made a u-turn to turn back on the same road again. By this point, I was thinking - what is this all about?
We were driving and driving some more, then Hubby came to an abrupt stop, on the fast-traffic, multi-lane road. He pulls over and gets out. I look in my rear-view mirror to watch him over in the grass on the side of the road. It's dark. Then I seem him come walking towards me, carrying a green balloon. It wasn't just a green balloon, it was a green balloon with the same market's name that Cheekers and I were at earlier that day. There are only two of those markets in town, and were at least five or six miles away.
The green balloon Hubby found was attached to a wooden spoon. It was not attached to cut off ribbon. But still a very cool moment.
Last night when we got home, I put the green balloon on the floor in Cheekers' room.
This morning I heard Cheekers making noise in her room. She doesn't get out of bed until I come in to get her. I walked into her room, and we talked a little bit about her evening with her sister and the babysitter. Then she looked over by her dresser and noticed something. She hopped down from her bed. Her room was still a little dark.
Walking over to the balloon, she said, "what's this Mommy?" I said, "I don't know Cheeks, what is it?" She said, "Hah, it's a balloon.....but what color is it?" She picked up the balloon and walked toward the window where there was more light. "Hah, it's a green balloon, like mine!"
Then she said, "Did the birdies bring it back to me?"
I said, "yep, Baby, I think they did."