Monday, September 24, 2012

A Helium Happy Birthday

There are few things I know for sure. Only a few truths that resonate deep in my spirit. And this is one: if there is an occasion to buy a helium balloon, you better make sure you buy as many helium balloons as you have children. Seriously. Don’t even try to be thrifty. This is not a time to care about money. This is not a time to teach your children a lesson about sharing. If you want to be productive at anything at all in the next three days- buy each child a different colored helium balloon.

In our household of three children four and under, helium balloons hold the value of pure gold, the excitement of spotting a unicorn, and the creative possibility equivalent to that of new play-doh. The thrill happens three times a year as we celebrate each child’s birthday. It is almost Guy’s third birthday, so we have three balloons, floating around the car on our way home from the store. To make matters even more exciting we have our nervous dog, fresh from the groomers also packed in our van. To top it all off Guy manages to rip one of the balloons off the sting so we have a rogue balloon flying around the van, while Ellie is squealing, Joey is yelling, Guy is laughing and Mommy is trying to merge on the highway. You can barely see over three carseats, three bobbing balloons, and a Bernese Mountain dog’s head. “I would love a cop to pull me over for distracted driving”, I think as I yell for everyone to stop yelling.  I would go to the jail cell and promptly take a nap.

But this is an occasion for helium balloons. It is Guy’s birthday. A third birthday and he has been looking forward to this day for a long time. Since the day after he turned two -to be precise. He started informing us in July that he wanted a ‘race-car birthday’. He wanted a cake. And he wanted balloons. All completely do-able, though almost a disaster when I accidently turned on the dining room ceiling fan and Joey nonchalantly walked in holding on to his balloon. The balloon got sucked straight into the flow of the fan and Joey stood there screaming like a maniac, “It’s killing it! It’s killing it!”  I ran in from the bedroom in a panic to find Joey and Guy in hysterics and tears. I returned the balloon to it’s owner, dried eyes, and gave a quick lecture about air flow and balloon owner/operator awareness.

But a third birthday would not be complete unless one could run all over a house waving a balloon, wiggling and dancing and sitting on, and trying to fly with it. Especially for my Guy.
Today is balloon getting day and tomorrow is Guy’s birthday. He will be three years old and has spent every day of three years figuring something new out.  My  almost three year old Guy James who celebrates every day with the gusto of a birthday. Who constantly takes everything apart, who releases balloons, who chases butterflies and clouds and independence. My Guy, who is my snuggle bug and free spirit at the same time, who wears creativity as easily as the dirt that covers his hands every evening, who crawls into my lap and who climbs everything else, who assumes the world is on his side- we love you.

Guy- We wish you so many blessings on your third birthday. We wish you clear paths and wise council all through your life. May you continue to love exactly who you were created to be. May you always find the good in others. May you recognize opportunities that come your way- and may you grab them, hold them, stretch them and mold them until they are as unique as you are and you can wear them as a hat. May you pursue kindness as eagerly as you pursue freedom.

Guy James- there are a few things that I know for sure. And this is one: We could not love you more completely in ten or thirty years than we do right now. On the eve of your third birthday. Dressed in your racecar underpants and green t.shirt you thought looked better on backwards. You- waving a helium balloon- yelling and jumping off the couch. Happy Birthday. Happy racecar helium balloon waving birthday. We love you a million ways.

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