The Wonder of Being Three Years Old
It never ceases to amaze me how totally a child can believe in magic and the “wonders” in everyday life. Things as simple as clouds and lightning bugs can send their minds into hours of imaginary play and adventure.
Recently my triplets turned six and had a birthday party. Their grandparents have a custom of bringing a huge bunch of helium balloons to the party and we let them go inside the house to make a jungle of multicolored strings and balloons for the kids to play in. When they leave they all get to take one home.
There are always lots of leftovers for our kids.
The following day the triplets were in school and Matthew, the three year old, was home with me. It wasn’t one of his preschool days. He was in the room with the balloons, having fun, and I got an idea.
“Matthew,” I said. “Let’s play a game.”
“OK!,” he enthusiastically replied.
I told him we were going to play the “Up!” game.
If you haven’t seen the film “Up!” from Pixar/Disney, I would strongly suggest you do. It’s really a great film. The central idea of the film is that an old man, who doesn’t want to go to an old folks home, ties tens of thousands of balloons to his house and floats away on a great adventure.
So, I gathered up all of the balloons from the living room ceiling and bunched them up in a big bouquet, holding them close to where the string tied on to the balloon.
“Now hold onto them real tight,” I told my wide eyed son. “I’ll hold you so that you don’t float away.”
I put my hands around his waist and slowly, but gently, lifted him off the floor, playing around with him to try and mimic the sensation that the balloons were doing it.
As he got higher and closer to our ten foot ceiling he abruptly started screaming, “DON’T LET GO! DON’T LET GO! GET ME DOWN!”
“Matthew! Let go of the balloons! Quick! I’ll catch you!”, I said.
He did and I dropped him a bit and caught him. He clutched me hard as we watched the balloons float to the ceiling and spread out across the room.
As I put him down on the floor he looked up at me and said,” Woh…that was close. Good thing we weren’t outside.”