The Gold Balloon

June 16, 2021


There are times when we mamas feel like we’ve done a really good job. You know that feeling right? The good feeling at the end of the day when everything is coming to a close when you start to wind down and you take that deep breath in and take stock of everyone’s day and as you exhale you think man… today I really did a good thing! I “mommed” really hard or that one moment where we talked things through, that was really great! Or maybe it was just one perfect moment (and when I say perfect I don’t necessarily mean perfect in the sense of perfection, I mean it by your very own definition of perfect). We all have those tiny moments that only we recognize as our very own perfection.

There are also those times when our feet hit the floor from the moment we wake and they just don’t stop! We run and run and until we just plain run out… and then we fall into our beds (or couches or in my house the case is the bean bag chair next to Linc’s bed) in just utter exhaustion! Those days can be wonderful too! Sometimes you are running around and then falling down in exhaustion from FUN! I always think of those days like our beach days! Dashing around trying to get ready and then running around on the sand or playing in the waves and then bam crashing into bed at night totally exhausted from the ocean air and the sun. Other times, those days can feel like the seventh circle of hell! The days where nothing seems to go just right and you can’t figure out why! You run around like a chicken with it’s you know what… off and well the “mommin” those days feels like a giant shit show. Yep I cursed! Which is not often but I did because those days you have to curse. It just feels good and natural and right!

I kind of feel like you need to have both these kinds of days in order to appreciate the true beauty of motherhood: chaos in pure beauty! Rawness mixed in with this gorgeous amount of perfection! That’s parenting!

Well friends, this crazy mixture (both of those kinds of days) is what happened with Gold Balloon day!

It started out pretty tame which is a rarity for my house. Linc is never just chill when he wakes up. This child rises with the sun, if not before, and when he’s awake… we ALL better be awake! I think he actually jet boosts himself out of his bed. I mean there is no just sitting up. There isn’t even jumping out of bed. It’s straight levitating, air propulsion, flying, sky rocketing out of bed. Linc has more energy than the energizer bunny! In fact… energizer, if you are looking for a brand ambassader, LINC is your guy!

Anyway, I digress. This particular morning, my kid not only meandered out of bed, he actually slept in! WHAT THE WHAT Ya’ll! We probably should have known something was up there but instead, I counted my blessings and enjoyed a warm cup of coffee before teaching Shbam class that morning. Heck, my husband and I even watched a little TV and spoke to one another without interruptions! I mean I can’t even tell you the last time that has happened! So Linc woke up and casually walked out to the living room and just sat down on the couch like probably any other child would. He snuggled a bit and by that time I had to leave to go teach my class. Before I left, I asked Linc if he wanted to run some special errands with me later on when I got home. You see I had to go out and get some really fun surprises for Mrs. Amanda’s surprise birthday photo shoot and I knew I was going to need some help. Now Linc LOVES Mrs. Amanda and I knew he would want to come. Of course, I was right so we made a plan that I would go teach my class at the gym, come straight home, take a quick shower and then off we would go!

Later that afternoon, Linc and I set off to party city in search of all things glittery, neon and fun! Linc helped me pick out glitter poppers and silly glasses. Linc found the most amazing glittery confetti and a super fun champagne popper that I totally forgot to use during the session. AND THEN WE FOUND THE BALLOONS! Yes ya’ll… 24″ of pure neon awesomeness! You read that right, 24 inches! The size of a yoga ball EACH and I got 6 without even realizing how big they were and how they were going to fit into my car! Linc asked if he could have one and I mean, of course! He had been such an amazing little helper so far and these balloons were super fun! Out of all the colors available, and there were a ton to choose from, Linc chose gold! Each balloon was so large, they all needed an individual weight to tie them down. I should have known then what I was getting myself into, but nope. I naively laughed and sat there with this dopey smile thinking “oh yea I have a land rover with a third row, of course they will all fit!” Eye roll… those girls behind the counter blowing up these giant balloons probably wanted to smack me!

So my cute, helpful Linc in all his sweetness stood there while I paid for extra weights because even they couldn’t believe how heavy they were, and Linc stood there grabbing the balloons one by one when they were finished and adding them to the shopping cart. Little did he know they were getting tangled. So off we go when all was said and done back out to the parking lot with our 7 balloons, barely seeing anything in our path and praying we don’t get hit!

Here comes the crazy part… trying to get them IN the car. Our first problem… all the balloons were tangled and to get them inside the car we had to separate each one. So the two of us stood in the parking lot holding these giant balloons praying they weren’t going to fly away and trying our best to untangle this huge crazy knot! We stood there untying and untangling for 45 minutes! We only managed to get three untied. Big neon blue went in the front seat with me. Lime green went in the seat next to Linc followed by his beloved Gold! At that point, I had Linc get in the car too, buckled safely into his car seat. Now came the tricky part…. I still had to get bright neon pink, lavender, and light pink and bright yellow all into the car and these guys were all tied together in a huge knot!

Ya’ll this scene was like the three little pigs. I huffed and I puffed. I heaved and I pushed but there was no way these giant balloons were fitting into my car. Another 30 minutes went by and nothing. We made zero progress. I tried untying. I tried moving the seats around. I tried everything but the only solution I could think of was to just let one go.

At this point, Linc started getting upset. He didn’t want to lose his beautiful, big, gold balloon. I was a sweaty mess and there he was in his seat kissing his gold balloon. Heck, I’m pretty sure I saw him lick it at one point. I hadn’t even gotten the rest of the bags in the car yet and I just knew there was no way to do this. I took one look at the situation and looked at Linc… I said hey buddy make a wish!

And then… I pulled the line free and we said goodbye to light pink!

Ya’ll… I thought I did the right thing! I thought I did the good thing here! I mean that light pink balloon didn’t really fit the bright neon theme anyway and my kid was licking that gold balloon… but! BUT! Linc looked horrified! I mean he actually screamed out in terror! He didn’t want me to let go of the pink balloon. He felt bad that I let go of the pink balloon. He had actually wished I had let go of his gold balloon.

Yes, I got the rest of the balloons in the car! It was an ordeal but we did it. But sadly we spent the rest of the car ride home in silence. I changed the music so many times trying to get Linc to sing or dance or go back to his happy self. I made jokes and silly comments. I pointed out super fun cars and called “dibs” (his favorite game) but nothing cheered his spirits.

When he finally started talking again, he told me with the saddest little voice “I don’t deserve the gold balloon. I didn’t help. You shouldn’t have let Mrs. Amanda’s go.” and then the tears came. I think it was one of the most heart breaking moments I’ve ever witnessed. I tried to explain to him otherwise. I tried to tell him he was the MOST helpful and he totally deserved gold. But instead when he got home, he just ran in the door and back to his room.

It wasn’t until later in the evening that he finally came around to even looking at the gold balloon. To be honest I can’t even remember what changed or got him out of his funk. All I remember is that it happened right before I left for the session. It was right when Tuck was trying to repack the car with the remaining of the balloons and the cake and the millions of things we had to try to stuff in the trunk. My car looked like a clown car that night.

I remember promising him that I would talk to Amanda and see if I could bring home one other balloon! For some reason that seemed to cheer him up. Now I came home way after he had fallen asleep but that bright blue balloon was there when he woke up that next morning!

Sometimes I feel like motherhood is like this story of the gold balloon! We wake up with a plan for the day and some days they work out beautifully! Those days are like magic. Those are the days we don’t forget our glitter poppers! Those are the days those glitter poppers go off with glittery sparkle goodness everywhere and they leave little traces of glitter imprints on our hearts (you know because glitter never goes away.. that stuff sticks around for eternity).

Sometimes though we wake up with our plan and then that plan ends up like our gold balloon! Beautiful and big but not quite right. Maybe it doesn’t quite fit like that pale pink balloon and you have to let it go or change it a little. Maybe it’s super exciting like that gold balloon and all you want to do is hold is close but then something happens and you change your mind. Maybe it’s one of those days that feels like a roller coaster, one minute your riding high and feel great and the next you find yourself plummeting down feeling like you might loose your meal. You never know quite what you’re going to get in the hood of motherhood. Every day is an adventure and it can change on a dime.

But here’s the best part of motherhood, just like with the story of the gold balloon I feel like at the end of the day it all comes back to the sweet parts. When that day comes to a close and bedtime is near, whatever the day brought just seems to wash down the drain with the bath water. It seems to get brushed away when we tuck our littles into bed at night and brush away the hair from their eyes. That’s the perfection I’m talking about. It’s in those tiny moments where we realize the beauty of fresh starts and new beginnings.. That every morning is a new adventure and that these days, even the crazy ones or the not so great ones, or the weird ones, are the days that make up the stories and legacies of our lives!

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