Balloons and Kindness

Took the girls to get their hair cut, and the haircut place as usual gave them each a balloon.   Ran some errands afterwards, and in the parking lot going to the car, De somehow got her balloon string off her wrist and lost her grip on it, and it flew away.  We all stand there for a frozen moment in time, watching it drift upwards, and then De chokes back a sob and says "bye bye ballon," and waves at it up in the sky.  Then she curles up in a ball on the ground and cries.

Ana and Jenya both try to make her feel better, but nothing works.  Jenya tries to give De her balloon, but De refuses, and said she only wants her balloon.  De is devastated — very sad, almost inconsolable, for quite a while.  Then Jenya takes her balloon, presents it to De, and says "De — here’s your balloon — it came back and I found it."  De is suspicious, and says "but Jenya, where is your balloon?"  Jenya looks right at me, gives me a wink, and says "I gave it to Mama to put away till later."  De believes her, and is absolutely thrilled, hugging the balloon, and saying "my balloon, you came back, I love you balloon" over and over.  And I am stunned and overwhelmed at the maturity and kindness my oldest child has just shown to her sister.  So much day to day petty bickering and small scale sibling rivalry, and then a moment like this comes along, and you just have to sit back and marvel.


Driving home, the sky gray and cold at 5:30 in early August. Light rain only, but the overwhelming sense of something held in abeyance, not here yet but coming. A primal sense of urgency wars with the reality of my modern protected climate controlled life. For just a moment I can almost touch something timeless. Then the rain comes crashing down and it’s just another storm, windshield wipers and taillights.