Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Lost Balloon

After the kid's (late) nap this afternoon, I decided on the spur of the moment to head to the mall for Family Night. I called up Brittny to see if she and her kids would like to go, they didn't have plans, so they met us at the mall. We had a fun time, good food, the kids rode the carousel, I saw a couple other friends, and then after Brittny left, walked with the kids to the other end of the mall so they could play in the little play area.

The kids had gotten blue balloons earlier from Chick -Fil-A. When Keenan went into the play area, I took his off his wrist and hooked it on the stroller (under the red "lock hook") It was turned down, so the balloon was secure, and unable to fly away.

When we got out to the van, I wasn't watching, Keenan didn't ask for help, and before I knew it, he had turned the hook... and his balloon went sailing up into the night. He watched it in shock for a couple seconds and then his face crumpled and he burst into tears. Not the annoying, spoiled "Waa, I want my balloon!" kind of cry, but complete sadness at this sudden loss. It was heart breaking! As the balloon disappeared into the black, he cried harder and pleaded with me to get it back for him (never in my life have I wished I had super powers more than that moment).

He was devastated. I told him that he could have Moriah's, but he said, "I don't want to steal!" I said that Moriah wouldn't mind, but he wouldn't be consoled. As I was holding him and he was crying, some teenage girls came out of the mall to the car next to us. I apologized that we were in the way and they said that was fine. I explained that Keenan had just lost his first balloon. They felt really bad for him. They got something and went back inside and I (sort of) calmed Keenan down, got him into his seat with the other balloon and worked on getting Moriah, our stuff, and the stroller packed into the van. Keenan wailed, "How could you let this happen??"
"I want a birdie to bring my balloon back!", "Daddy can get it for me!" Soo sad.

As we pulled out of our spot, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. The two same girls were racing toward me... holding a blue balloon. I was shocked. I rolled down the passenger window and said, "No you didn't!" They laughed with excitement and said, "Yes we did! We didn't want him to be sad!" I just about burst into tears at how unbelievably thoughtful and sweet they were. I thanked them profusely, they smiled Huge smiles and headed back toward the mall laughing to each other.

*Okay, we were Not parked close to the entrance - those girls would have only had time to RUN inside, beg for a blue balloon for the sad little boy who lost his, (since they were finished giving them out about 45 minutes earlier), the balloon would have still had to be filled, and then they had to RUN back to us, and barely made it in time!* Soo totally awesome.

I handed Keenan the balloon, and he said, "Did they get my balloon back?" I so badly wanted to tell him that they had, but I think he figured out quickly that there was no way they could have. I was still just amazed at their "random act of kindness", so I pulled up the next aisle in the parking lot and met up with the girls right before the entrance. I opened Keenan's door and had him personally thank the girls. They were delighted, and we both went on our way, happier for the experience. I wish I had hugged them.

As we drove away from the mall, I Did start to cry... it was such a small thing, but such a big thing too. Two girls, an evening at the mall - they were probably there to meet up with some friends, or shop, or check out the cute boys, but no, they cared enough about a little boy they'd never met, to take the time and effort to go and get him a balloon and bring it all the way back out, not even knowing if we'd still be there. I guess not all teenagers only care about themselves. I hope I get to see them again so they'll know how much they blessed me.

The story did get sad again after that as Keenan started crying again for his first balloon and tried to figure out ways that we could get it back. I called Philip and Keenan poured out his sad story on the phone as we drove home. Thankfully, Philip was done at work and had beat us home. He met us at the van with Bunny, which helped ease Keenan's pain. We made sure his second balloon was securely tied on his wrist before he exited the van.

Keenan's first real loss. Life is tough sometimes.


Anonymous said...

Awwwww!! Poor Keenan!
but awesome girls to go and get him another balloon!! Their parents are obviously raising them well!! Bless them!

Becky said...

Maybe it's just my particular life experiences, but I see such a powerful lesson in this story, "another balloon" while wonderful, doesn't erase the loss of the "first balloon." The loss of the first balloon is still very real.

How wonderful those girls did that for Keenan!

Ward Family said...

Is it silly that this story gave me goosebumps? In the midst of so much meanness and selfishness and just "bad" around us, it is always such a blessing to see truly kind hearted souls like that. This totally made my day. Thank you for sharing. :-)

Mom W. said...

Well, I was sitting here with tears running down my face, sappy grandma, but hey, it was my grandson so can I be sappy? The story reminds me of myself, so often I run through all the scenarios of how to undo somethng that happens that can't be undone. I am sure this experience will still be in Keenan's mind even if he doesn't remember anything else from when he was two. Thanks for sharing that Joia. I hope you meet the girls again too... God can so orchestrate that if He wants to.

Brittny said...

HOW SWEET!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

After spending all day every day with teenagers, it's nice to hear good stories like this :) SOme of them do turn out! JK. What a thoughtful thing to do though.

Love you,

Flakymn said...

Becky, I love your point. So accurate. What a fantastic story. People aren't all out for themselves.

denise said...

how sweet :)

Mom E said...

What a great story and I'm a sappy Grandma too. The same thing happened to Isaac when he was little and he cried with the same kind of cry you described for Keenan.
It just goes to show you how much God cares for us. Every hair on our head is numbered....so it doesn't surprise me that God would know about every balloon a sad little boy lost in the sky! How awesome was the kindness of those girls.
Give that precious boy a big hug for me & thanks for sharing your mother's heart with all of us. Love, Mom