Folks I don’t think there’s anyone happier on the planet than a small child holding a balloon.
Unless it’s another small child holding a balloon and an ice-cream.
On the downside, there’s nothing more heart-wrenching than the cries of child who has just watched their balloon drift away or get popped by some smirking sadist.
Unless it’s the howls of another small child who has not only lost their balloon but licked their ice-cream and the top has fallen off.
I mention this because recently I saw a wedding party and the bride and groom looked radiantly happy, they weren’t just in love, they were in ‘Luurv’.
That wondrous, head over heels, totally smitten, sunshine, rainbows, choruses of angels singing, tapdancing in the rain, type of love.
But behind them was a toddler with a balloon lashed to his arm and he actually looked happier than the happy couple. Like the bride and groom, he had this wondrous, beautiful, magical thing floating off his wrist and later there would be cake and possibly ice-cream!
Life for the three of them was absolutely perfect.
Sadly, such happiness is fleeting.
Seriously, I can’t think of a better preparation for life, love and loss than holding a helium filled balloon. That rubbery marvel will quickly teach you that everything is temporary and to enjoy clutching it while you can.
But don’t grip it too tight, because your hand will get tired. But if you’re not careful, it will drift away, most likely forever, unless it’s in a safe place. Treating them roughly will also make them vanish.
Plus, you have to keep an eye out for all the sneaky pricks, like rose thorns or roving opportunists with pins.
And while your balloon and partner will initially look amazing and fill you with wonder, all too soon they’ll start to droop, wrinkles will appear and eventually they’ll sag to the floor.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid balloons or love for fear of being disappointed or hurt. Because the day they vanish some kind-hearted person may give you ice-cream.
Preferably in a bowl.