Opinion: The little things like balloons

It’s funny how sometimes just a little thing can completely change your mood. Take my Mother’s Day weekend, for example. Saturday began poorly, as I had to endure eight hours of dance hell in the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium while my youngest competed for a total of nine minutes. On the drive home, my husband compounded my misery by telling me he wouldn’t be returning from out of town that night as planned, but rather the following morning. He was having such a good time with everyone he didn’t want the fun to end! Never mind that Sunday was supposed to be my day, the one all year where I am to be pampered and loved. Even with the promise of a DQ turtle sundae, I was extremely frustrated by the time I pulled into my driveway.

Then I discovered that while I was eating over-priced popcorn and judging other dance moms, my younger son and his best friend had literally disappeared. Reports (and his low-jacked phone) had them at Clay Terrace, three miles from our house. This was weird, as they had already walked there earlier in the day. My calls of course went unanswered. Hoping he was either in a store or actively riding his bike, I took a self-imposed time-out to watch a DVRed Glee episode and cloak my bitterness in hot fudge and caramel. By 8:15 though, and with only forty-five minutes until said friend was to be picked up, concern (and darkness) set in.

I knew nothing bad had happened, but very quickly every worst-case scenario I could imagine was becoming a genuine possibility in my head. Angry with my spouse, exhausted from the dance competition, and entertaining thoughts of Amber Alerts and ER runs, I headed off muttering Hail Marys and curses in quick succession.

Halfway to the mall I found my 12-year-old, red-faced and laughing, peddling his little heart out down the sidewalk. Relief flooded through me, followed by a huge grin. Trailing his bike were a dozen purple and white balloons, ribbons and all it took but minutes once back home to understand the balloons weren’t for me though, as high-pitched giggles came echoing up the basement stairwell. These two tween-age boys had spent their entire Saturday plotting to acquire helium for the chance to talk like Looney Toons characters!

And that, my friends, completely changed my outlook. As a mother, seeing pure joy on the face of one of your children is the best remedy for a crappy day. So despite the precarious start, this particular weekend will be fondly remembered. Peace out.

Danielle Wilson

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the same year Dick Nixon was elected. Along with my twin sister and three younger sisters, I attended Catholic schools for thirteen years. (Holy Mother, pray for me.) I spent two years as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado until I wised up and transferred to a more normal school, Indiana University, where I received a B.A. in history and a teaching license just for funsies. In 2001, I officially entered the ranks of stay-at-home moms to care for my two-year old son and newborn twins. I have mentally blocked all of 2002 and most of 2003. In 2004, I received a Master’s degree in U.S. History from I.U.P.U.I. and a fourth child from my should-have-had-that-vasectomy-sooner husband. From 2005 until mid-2010, I played Super Mom in the yet-to-be released indie film "Provide Daycare for Your Sister-in-Law's Children Because You Don't Have Enough to Do Already." I returned to teaching this fall at an undisclosed Indianapolis school where thankfully very few parents know who I am. I am considering developing a bad habit.

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