Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby Bird's Balloon

We conceived a brilliant idea for reducing waste: a scratch paper bin. I took great care to remember our bin each and every time we had any reusable paper, and things were going great. We were saving the planet, maybe even bringing about world peace, and life was good . . . That is, until it threatened to overtake the closet. Our black, wire containers were nowhere to be seen as they were buried under a wild mess. I decided it was time to tackle the rapidly expanding giant and tidy up a bit. The process went something like: Grab handful of paper, tap several times, place “neatly” back into bin. Repeat all of the above. Suddenly, quite by accident, I caught a brief glimpse of an ink pen drawing. A long forgotten memory came rushing back, and I hastily removed the last pile to retrieve a small piece of the past.

Several years ago we borrowed a story from the library called The Berenstain's B Book. It is basically a long alliteration about the chaos surrounding a balloon. It dramatically ends with:

Big brown bear, blue bull, beautiful baboon blowing bubbles biking backward, bump black bug's banana boxes and Billy Bunny's breadbasket and Brother Bob's baseball bus and Buster Beagle's banjo-bagpipe-bugle band...and that's what...broke Baby Bird's balloon.

I can add:

Which broke my baby’s tender little heart.

Kylen was extremely distraught by this embattled balloon’s unfortunate demise. My mother instinct quickly took over searching for a way to ease his sorrow. I retrieved a piece of paper from the printer and drew that bird with a great big smile on his face holding a great big balloon even larger than the popped one. Then I told Kylen that afterwards the bird got a new balloon and was very happy. My solution was a success, and the paper got put away in his drawer for possible future service. It was eventually lost in the rubble that tends to build up in little boys’ drawers, and finally got tossed in the bin during a dresser cleaning session.

Somehow I don’t think that paper is going back in the bin.

As my son grows, I find myself following in the footsteps of countless moms, saving a scrap of paper here and there: a crude crayon stickman, my first Mother’s Day card, rounds of tic-tac-toe and hangman. Maybe there’s a part of me that thinks saving all these bits and pieces will somehow preserve his childhood. Of course I know that isn’t true, but I can preserve my memories to enjoy when he’s grown. And by that time, I’ll be ready to read The Berenstain's B Book to our grandchild. I may even resurrect a simple ink drawing of a little bird with a big balloon.


Anonymous said...

Aw, it's always sweet when you find those precious memories of childhood, isn't it?
I have saved my daughter's first poem she wrote (she was 4) and other things over the years too.
It's hard to remember when my kids were that young!

Anonymous said...

Hey Farrah,
Hope you are having a wonderful week. I have tagged you on my blog if you would like to participate.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Pete said...

The B Book was a favourite of mine as a child, 30 years ago. The ending, however, always broke my heart. I felt so bad for that poor baby bird. Even today seeing a sad, anthropomorphic animal drawing gets to me and I think it stems from Baby Bird and his balloon. I'm going to save a copy of your drawing to look at whenever I remember. Thank you for sharing.

Farrah said...

You're very welcome, and thank you for your comment! :-)