The Blue Balloon

A weekend afternoon.

It was “Lunch at McDonald’s” day. Our little preschooler loves this once-in-a-couple-of-months destination particularly for 1. Ronald McDonald 2. The balloon.

Thus, Junior became the proud owner of a big blue balloon. He held on tight to the prized possession all afternoon.

And then, it was time to head home… by the metro train. As we entered the station, my eyes spotted a sign: Balloons and firecrackers not allowed.

Oops! And how does one separate a kid from his recently acquired toy?! Deflate the balloon, of course. After some lengthy “logical” explanation, our son was convinced.

Next step, untie the knot and the deflated balloon can be easily transported. Easier said than done! As we took turns in attempting this feat, it soon became evident that the knot had declared war on us. As hubby dear and I tried to outdo each other (unsuccessfully), everyone entering the metro station spent a few minutes observing (and perhaps snickering at) our great problem. Our family was now providing entertainment at the metro station!

Well, it was not an expensive object, but it did make Junior happy, and we did not have the heart to throw it away. However, after umpteen futile attempts, we decided to somehow get rid of the “dangerous” object. Unfortunately, we had NO CLUE how and where to discard the blue balloon – we spotted a garbage can and attempted stuffing the balloon into it, but it DID NOT FIT!!! Oh dear, oh dear! For a second, I even thought of pricking a pin into the OBJECT. But then, that might have the security guys in a frenzy. WHEW!!

And then, the gentleman at the security desk offered to help us in untying the knot. Alas, he found the going tough, as well. He asked us how much the balloon cost. We replied that it was free, but that it was something that our child loved :).

And to my great surprise, he continued to try to assist us. Finally, we gave up. We thanked him for his help, requested him to get rid of the blue balloon, and took the escalator towards the ticket counter. A few minutes later, just as we approached the counter, we heard a voice calling out to us. It was the same gentleman. He held up the balloon and gestured “SUCCESS”.

I was touched. Greatly. Immensely. I was at a loss for words. I could barely say “Thank you”.

This gentleman could have just discarded the balloon. He could have continued with his tasks for the day.

BUT he persevered at a “seemingly inconsequential” task. And he brightened my day. He brought immense joy to the sad face of a 3-year old child. PRICELESS.

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