Thursday, May 25, 2006

Unexpected Joys

The other night my family and I had an unexpected joy (and no I don't mean I found out I was pregnant - we're done with that).

Every Memorial Day weekend - since I was fifteen anyway - my family and I (consisting of my parents, sister, brothers, various significant others and friends) crew for a hot air balloon rally in my hometown. I've flown several times (it's awesome. If you ever have the chance GO!). I absolutely love to crew. There is nothing like pulling out that cold silk, laying it out over the dew soaked ground, holding open the mouth of the balloon as a blast of fire whooshes past and finally watching it lift gently into the sky. At the rally (one of the largest in the Southeast) there are usually anywhere from 40 to 70 balloons all lifting off at the same time. Against the backdrop of an early spring dawn, I think it's the most beautiful sight on earth next to my children's smiling faces. So what might you ask was the unexpected joy?

On my way home from a hectic day of work, both girls yelling in the back seat, we passed by three balloons putting up in the front yard of a neighbor. We live out in the country - and by country I mean the closest thing to a store for miles is the double wide grocery, tanning bed and video store - so it's the perfect place to put up. Lots of pastures to land in too. Anyway, we rushed home all excited, stuffed dinner into our mouths (because it was ready) and then raced out the door again ten minutes later with DH in tow. The first balloon was just coming over the tree line at the edge of our property when we piled into the car. And the expression on my girl's faces was priceless. Both of them screamed with delight.

And it was a wonderful thing for me. Until this past year Sweet Pea had been frightened of the loud noise of the propane going off. But not that day. She was simply excited. And so was her sister. They both stayed that way for an hour while we sat in the car driving around backroads, chasing the balloons. We got to watch several touch and gos (where they land and then take off immediately) and a couple splash and dashes (where they touch down in water and then take off again - Even as long as I've been involved with ballooning I've never seen a splash and dash).
We had so much fun. But I think what was most important to me (aside from the fact that we managed to all find an hour to enjoy together) was seeing the wonder in my girl's faces. This is something I absolutely love and to know they do too means a lot to me. I hope in years to come it will be something we can share.

This weekend is going to be hectic with numerous trips in and out of town, getting up before our rooster and probably sunburns because Mommy forgot the sunscreen again. But to see that look on my girls faces again will make every second of lost sleep worth it.

What do you share with your children or family?



Playground Monitor said...

Kinda hard to share with the boys now that they're grown and living away from home. But we used to take them to a lot of road races and then to their school track meets. We had Boy Scouts and Little League too. The boys and DH like to fish and each spring break I'd send them off for a few days of male bonding (AKA letting Mom have a break *g* ).

The DH and I enjoy movies and dancing and we love to travel, though the price of gasoline has put a crunch on that.

I agree that there's something quite breathtaking about seeing a hot air balloon in flight, especially when you don't expect it. Another thrill is seeing a blimp fly into view. About 23 years ago the Goodyear blimp flew over here at low altitude. We stood in the yard and just watched as it seemed to crawl overhead and across the mountains.

I suppose once Grandbaby2Be gets here, we'll get to start a new sharing adventure, though it'll be girl things. I bet, though, that her Papa will teach her to fish and Uncle will challenge her to a race around the backyard. And I look forward to sharing with her all the books I saved from my boys' childhood.

Kathy said...

Balloons in the air, massing toward the clouds. What a majestic sight! Have fun this weekend, Instigator. Enjoy this time with your family.


Problem Child said...

The great thing about little kids is that everything is an adventure. Things we take for granted are so cool to them.

AC loves sunsets. And watching them with her is amazing. I've always been too busy to do more than go, "Oh, pretty." I now have an appreciation for them.


Smarty Pants said...

DB and I don't have kids, but you'd think we do when we go to places like the zoo or the beach. We turn into big kids. We point and get all excited taking pictures of hippos or leopards. We build sandcastles and try to catch crabs on the beach. The other, cooler people are always sunbathing and watching us be idiots, but we have a great time together.

We both really love animals, me especially, and I think he enjoys watching me get all excited (which is rare). My normally calm demeanor just shatters if we spy a critter near the road or in our yard. Doesn't matter if its a rabbit, a possum or a deer... total dork. :)


Instigator said...

You'd love it out by us, SP. The other day we saw a fox in our back pasture. And on the way home another one ran across the road and into the woods. It isn't unusual to see deer leaping across the road at the right time of year. But the best thing (as far as I'm concerned) was the first summer we were in the house. We left the windows open one night and heard a cougar calling from the woods at the back of our property. We've raised two baby cougars so we both know what they sound like. Wildlife abounds out here in the middle of nowhere :-)