My husband and I recently learned how to make animal balloons. Some may think
this to be a simplistic interest, maybe even a waste of time. So why did we decide to learn to make a dog out of a balloon? We wanted to give children something when they visited our display at band organ rallies. How is it working? Join me on today’s “shirlandyou” adventure and we’ll see.
First of all, parents, the kids,too, couldn’t believe they were free, they were almost suspicious of us. However the balloons were brightly colored and the music coming from the band organ, was fun and happy, it drew both kids and parents to us, two harmless, fun-loving people. This was definitely a change from the dungeons and dragons, scary movies and dark images that bombard today’s children. The greatest teacher on earth, Jesus, who is much more than just a teacher, taught that adults are held accountable for how they influence children. We watched them as they watched us blow up the balloons and give them to them, and we hoped that the over-all effect gave them a greater ability to trust people.
They were delighted. In fact, it went over so well, that the package of 100 balloons was soon gone. The children and their parents had lined up and waited patiently for their gift. “They are thrilled with their balloons,” said another rally participant who watched the goings-on. It was an event where there wasn’t a lot of kids’ stuff, especially free ones, that may account partially for its success.
Balloons were invented by a physicist in 1643 who by trapping air in one, proved there was some actual substance to air.There’s a mystique about balloons, If you watch for a balloon to pop you really can’t see it happen, yet it feels as if a gun had been fired. Party balloons began to show up in the 1930’s. Someone said the 20’s would have been more “roaring” if balloons had been around then. Actually their popularity boomed in the 1970’s. And even today if a party environment is wanted, balloons do the job.
There was no helium in the balloons we gave away. Did you know that a tightly secured helium balloon when let go will rise five miles high? We used a little hand pump to inflate the long, slender balloons we used. Once inflated, they had to be twisted into the shape we desired. Watching all this was part of the show and the kids stood by and waited for the creation that was to be theirs. No two ever turned out to be the same.
Learning to make animal balloons and giving them away gave both us and the children much pleasure. Do you suppose someday when one of them loses his ability to trust, he may remember the balloon-blowing couple who hoped to build their trust in people. Kids are trusting by nature and, yes, we are held accountable for our influence on them and how it affects their ability to trust.
The day was coming to a close and we couldn’t help but notice a sad looking little girl, with tears in her eyes, standing shyly at some distance from our band organ. In her hand was a bright, yellow balloon that had become undone. The twisting had let loose in several places. At our words, “come here we’ll fix it for you,” she ran over to us, then left us with a smile on her face and a little more ability to trust mankind.