Special Air

Katherine, like most kids, is still enamored with helium-filled balloons. Whenever she goes to the local grocery store, she gets one of the cheap ones for free that serves as nothing more than cheap advertising for the store. And you know what? It works. They will forever have the business of at least one particular four-year-old as long as they pass out the balloons.

Price of friendship with Katherine: 1 helium-filled balloon.

Because the balloons are cheap and free, they tend to last about 18 hours before the helium disappates and they start to fall. This morning, Katherine woke up bright and early, noticed her balloon was dead, and insisted that I blow it up. She even gave me explicit instructions on how to do it: Get the scissors, cut it, and blow daddy!

Yes. That should work….

sigh… How do you explain helium to a four-year-old?

I tried telling her it was full of special air. Her response, of course, was that she was special and so she, and not daddy, would now be responsible for the blowing. It makes sense. Really, it’s truly remarkable to see young minds make connections and leaps of logic that older minds refuse to make because we are so stilted and packed into pre-set notions of truth and knowledge. If you ever need a fresh perspective on life, ask a four-year-old. You’ll find that little things matter, big stuff can wait, and sometimes the point of it all is just to sit back and enjoy the ride.

I guess explaining helium can wait for another day.

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