Valentine's Day Balloons

Marathon Girl thought it would be nice to get the kids something for Valentine's Day. So on the way home from work yesterday she called and asked if I could pick up some Valentine's Day balloons for Aidan and Steven. I told Marathon Girl I'd be happy to oblige.

Aidan loves helium-filled balloons. Every time we go to the store and walk by the balloons Aidan points to them and says "ballooooo." As I drove to the store, I pictured Aidan's face tomorrow morning when he'd wake up and see balloon in the living room.

Then I get to the store.

It's a mad house.

Men are running around like a bunch gnus being hunted by lions. They're throwing flowers and chocolates in their card then making a beeline for the card aisle where they start fighting over the perfect card for the love of their life.

I shake my head. I learned my lesson last year. I bought something for Marathon Girl ten days ago.

Fortunately everyone seemed to be leaving the balloons alone. There was a large selection to choose from. I looked through the balloons trying to find a nice one for Aidan and Steven. I finally selected a shiny red and black balloon that says Happy Valentine's Day for Aidan and a heart shaped one for Steven.

As I headed toward the self checkout line, a man raced toward me. He had the familiar look of my-love-will-kill-me-if-I-don't-buy-something-nice on his face.

"Where did you get those?" he said pointing to the balloons.

"Over there by the flowers," I said.

"Flowers!" the man said. "I forgot the flowers!" He runs off saying something about his wife liking roses.

I bought the balloons and headed home. I parked the car in the garage and left the balloons in the car. I could hear Aidan knocking on the door leading from the garage to the kitchen. He knew daddy was home.

Aidan was happy to see me. After dinner we played with his toys until bedtime.

As I put Aidan to bed, I hoped he would wake up earlier than usual tomorrow so I could see the look on his face when he sees the balloons in the morning.

I got my wish.

Five minutes before I left for work, I heard Aidan in his room. I opened his door and asked if he wanted breakfast. Aidan comes running out of his room. He stopped suddenly before he reached the kitchen. The two balloons are floating in the air above his chair.

"Ballooo!" he said pointing excitedly at the balloons. He grabbed the red ribbon attached to one and pulled it down so he can hold it. Then he lets it go and watches it bounce off the ceiling before grabbing it again. "Ballooo!" he said again.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Aidan," I said.

I kissed the top of his head before I left for work. Even in the garage I could hear Aidan say "Ballooo!" over and over.

I left for work with a smile on my face, quite sure, for once, it was bigger than Aidan's.