On Friday nights, a local chain restaurant hosts a man who makes balloon animals in their dining room. A relative suggested we check it out. Sure, I thought. Balloons animals. That sounds like fun. We packed up and headed to the restaurant.
We were a few minutes early. Really, I should be writing about how we pulled that off, but let’s leave that topic for a different day.
As we waited in the parking lot in our family mobile, I could not believe what I was seeing. People were exiting the restaurant carrying unbelievable balloon creations. Not just balloon animals, these were works of art.
From my car, I saw monkeys hanging on palm trees and bananas, rainbows and flowers that were at least 4 feet tall. As a child, I had seen balloon animals, but they were mostly four legged animals. Dogs and giraffes…pretty basic stuff.
With much respect for the balloon animal creators of my youth, I must say that even the simplicity of a balloon dog is way beyond my own ability. My expertise is limited to filling balloons with water and running around the yard tossing them at each other. Ask me for a balloon animal, and I’ll give you one. You just have to decide whether it’s a worm or a snake.
We went into the restaurant and barely contained the children enough to order our meals. The kids were craning their necks to see the young man furiously making things like giant 5 color rainbows, mermaids and Ninja Turtles. As a little girl who knows her mind, my daughter decided what she wanted. She told me. She told everyone at the table.
I was a little apprehensive. It sounded like a big ask, and I wondered if it was even part of the man’s repertoire. This was all new to me. I tried to buffer what I thought might be sure disappointment by suggesting that she might have to choose something else. But we would certainly ask.
We waited our turn as the children stared, mesmerized by the cheerful man with the balloons. As we approached the front of the line, my daughter softly conveyed her request to the man. I stood near her, tempering what seemed to me like a lofty goal, by sheepishly asking, ”Do you even make that?”
“Sure I do.” The enthusiastic balloon maker chirped as he immediately got busy twisting and building.
Balloon animals have come a long way, haven’t they?
Now I wonder what the life expectancy for this little beauty is…I may not be cooking dinner next Friday night.