“I don’t want you to tie it on, Mom.”
“Ok, but you have to hold on tight or it will fly away.”
“I WILL hold on tight,” she insists. Her chubby little hands grip the string of the balloon with all their might.
We step outside and a few moments later a bright pink balloon races upward. I look over and tears are streaming down my sweet girl’s face.
“I tried to hold it Mom, but the wind was too blowy.”
“I know. It’s ok. Maybe the balloon wanted to fly up high today.” I squeeze her to me, her dimples all but disappear as she watches her balloon swallowed up in the blue sky. My words do little do soothe her, but she straightens up and we walk to the van hand in hand.
I pull up to the curb and children’s laughter forces it’s way into the van. I glance in my rear view mirror at my kindergartner.
“Are you ready?” I ask. Hesitation is written all over her face, her body tense.
“You can do this. You are a big girl. Come on, hop on out and go play for a few minutes before the bell rings.”
The shake of her head is almost imperceptible and I know she won’t be going alone today. I pull over and park so I can walk her to her teacher.
She puts on her backpack and steps cautiously out of the van and grabs hold of my hand.
“Hold on tight, or she will fly away,” I think. We walk towards the building and her grip loosens a little. She brightens when she sees her friends and before I know it, my little balloon is flying away. Her backpack bounces in time with her pink skirt and her blonde pony tail swishes back and forth in the wind. I watch, tears brimming my eyes.
“This is good. She should fly away,” I tell myself.
But it’s oh-so-hard to let my little pink balloon go.
This week’s prompt was a picture of colorful umbrellas floating in the sky. I took it where it led me.