[preface: It has long been believed that my family, the Sebeck family, has a special adverse relationship with Murphy and his Law. Ry’s genetics are working against her. Oh, Child.]
Last week, dear friends of ours welcomed little Cooper Robert into the world. You know them: they are the family that has been fighting for a child for years- I mentioned them in Holy War. We were happy-jump-up-and-down crazy people and asked if we could come to the hospital with tired kids to quickly say hello and hold the miracle.
The Mulders headed into the big city… in the big farm truck… after dark. We ate out at Red Robin. We got balloons. I think they gave them to us as a thank you for leaving, but I digress. Ry got a purple balloon. Gus Man wielded blue.
We ate, we left, we made it to the hospital. We put our hands/heads in the fountain, we rode the elevator, we emptied all the hand-soap dispensers. We hugged the Daddy. We hugged the Mommy. We rocked the baby and his sweet little cheeks. We left.
It was so very calm on the way home. What an adventure for the Mulders of TexasNorth! Curt pulled into the driveway and sleepy little eyes popped open searching for a ride to their beds. He opened the truck door…
and the purple balloon floated out of a little girl’s hands,
up up up into the night sky.
Let the wailing begin.
So, I let Gideon’s blue balloon go, too… on a rescue mission to find the purple balloon or at least keep it company. It didn’t matter. The poor girl was inconsolable. I promised to find her another balloon the next day. It was an accident. Someone else needed the balloon. The birdies are happy. Daddy is sorry. Yes, we can pray for the balloon.
Sleep, Child, sleep.
The next morning, Ry was up bright and early. She had her day mapped out. She would dress, she said. And then we would eat and then we would go get another purple balloon. It was 7:15am.
The memory tears began to flow as she sat down to breakfast. It really had been such a great balloon. It was purple. It was free. It was magic. More tears in her Frosted Mini-Wheats. I did my best to serve with a smile. Rylie looked up from her bowl and then left her seat to look out the window. Her eyes followed the path of the lost balloon last night. “Up?” she asked? Yes, up, Darling. And then, “Mom!” accompanied by frantic pointing.
Pointing to the ancient apple tree.
To the TOP of the ancient apple tree.
To the top of the ancient apple tree where a balloon
and its string has made its home the night before… never fully escaping.
The balloon… the balloon that is too high to reach, that never really left, that will remain in sight for the next 6 months until a storm or axe chops that tree down…
The balloon was blue.