Blue Balloons

So this morning, the kids and I hit the Clinton River Trail.
Lance needed the exercise on his bike.  I needed to clear my head from all the noise.  And Mady needed to hold my hand for most of our walk.
When we rounded our favorite secret corner, just under the bridge, I heard Lance’s voice up ahead yell something about a blue balloon.  By the time Mady, Frankie, and I caught up, he was shouting.
“Look!!!  I caught it!!!  The blue balloon!  It was blowing around and I caught him!!!”
(I love how naturally kids personify objects: “him”.  Lol.)
But just like that, the wind ripped it from his hands.
Moving target.
Lance was in hot pursuit.  Over weeds.  (Almost) through the river.  Up and down rocks.  Finally, I had to call it quits.  The pursuit was becoming too treacherous.
Try explaining this to your eight-old who’s quite the daredevil anyway.
“But I can SEE IT!!!  It’s RIGHT THERE!!!  I can GET IT, MOM.  I KNOW I CAN!!!”
But no.
Even though our moving target was still visible, the means to the end had become too daunting, too dangerous.
We turned back.  We finished our favorite trail route.  We were hungry and tired.  We wanted to go home.
We were back where we had begun.
And there was the blue balloon: between a rock a hard place.  Albeit a more accessible hard place.
Lance looked at me.  I looked at him.  I gave him the thumbs up.  Off he went.
By the time Mady, Frankie, and I had caught up, he had already descended the rocks, grabbed his blue balloon, traversed back up, and tied it around his wrist.
I double knotted it.
And on the trek home, blue balloon literally in hand, I realized that sometimes the thing we want the most is a moving target.
If we simply stick together and continue the journey, eventually we’ll grab hold of that blue balloon, and bring it on home with us.


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