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99 Red Balloons, But Really There Was Only One, and That's Where It All Went Wrong

I love that song 99 Red Balloons so that's why it's in the title. It really doesn't fit this story at all. Now that we've cleared that up...

I went to my 5-year-old friend's birthday party Saturday morning at the Mountain Goat Indoor Rock Climbing Gym. Our friends from our small group at church had very kindly invited us, and we were super excited to help little Katie celebrate 5 years! She is a very sweet girl and an avid reader like myself. In fact, we exchanged books a few times. She gave me Fancy Nancy to read (very cute book!) and I let her read my Poky Little Puppy book -- a favorite from when I was little -- and a Snow White book I had.

Katie got lots of gifts, including some awesome light sabers. I gave her a couple of books for kids by Neil Gaiman -- I love his books for adults and was really excited when he started also writing kids' books.

So we had a blast. We climbed walls and ate yummy cake that Julie (Katie's mom) made. All was going great.



(For their privacy, I'm not sharing any pictures of the family)

Then, it was time to leave. As they left, the kids had the option to take one of the balloons home. There was only one red one, along with an orange and a few yellow.

Well, one little girl in particular had her heart set on the red one. While she was putting on her shoes, another friend from our small group, West, had picked up the red balloon that the little girl wanted (unbeknownst to West). Well, as she was distracted putting on her shoes, another little girl left and wanted the red balloon. Since West didn't know it was spoken for, he gave it to the second girl as she left. The first girl was heartbroken. Her red balloon, gone.

Trying to make it better, I said there was only one orange one, and she could have it instead. She said ok and reached to grab it. It happened to be attached to a yellow one with some tape, so as she grabbed it I tried to separate them. Then, it happened.

I'm not great with kids... have I mentioned that before?

The balloon popped. Loudly. Right in her face. The orange balloon. I was left holding the yellow balloon with the "guts" of the orange balloon still attached to it. And then the crying started.

I popped a balloon in a small child's face.

I should never have kids.

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