100s of colorful balloons

My mom has a not-so -secret talent. She can throw a party. Whether it’s a kid’s party, or whether it’s an adult party, if my mom is hosting it and setting it up? It’s going to be awesome. We’ve tried to convince her to use her awesome skills for something other than volunteer work or her family and friends, but she puts so much into these parties it’s stressful. She did my entire wedding, and it was the most amazing wedding ever. Beautiful and fun. My mom likes to have fun. Sometimes Every time, there is an over abundance of stuff left over. Lots of food to get rid of. Lots of decorations to be put away. Lots of balloons to figure something out with. Always lots and lots of balloons.


Birthday party 2008, Movie Stars


Birthday party 2009, Luau


Caitlin's first birthday

We have a family tradition that, at the end of the party, we gather up all the balloons that have survived, tie them together and set them free. It sort of symbolizes that all the planned activities have taken place and you are free to leave, or stay and chat.

It started years ago, when we lived on base, but I can’t exactly remember how or why. We used to just suck the helium out or wait for it to leak out and watch the balloons float to our living room floor. It took weeks for all the balloons to get cleaned up. Finally, someone, I’m assuming my dad, thought of a better plan. Back then, we used to write our name, address and phone number on a piece of paper, stick it in a plastic bottle and tie it with the balloons and set it free. We did this for years, but we never heard back. I wonder how many of those bottle were ever found. I wonder how many crashed into the Potomac River. But we never received a call or letter, so we assume they were all lost.

We eventually stopped the letters, but the balloon launch continues. Every year, at the end of the party, we gather up all the balloons that have survived, tie them together, and set them off from our dock. We sit and watch as the balloons float away from the earth, away from us. They usually stick together for quite some time, float, float, floating away in a group. Disappearing into the sky, behind clouds and trees. We sit and watch until, finally, they are out of sight.

Once they’re gone, we go about our business. Many of the guests leave at that point, some of the family disperses as well, while others sit around to chat about the party and eat much of the left over food. The party is over, and was another success. My mom can finally relax, until next year. Until then, we tell her how amazing her parties are and try to convince her to start a business, but she refuses. It’s almost too much to do it for her family and friends, doing it for strangers would surely be too much.

And it is a lot, but we’re thankful she does it. Because my mom? She knows how to put on a gathering of any sort.

This post was brought to you by Wordful Wednesday by Angie over at Seven Clown Circus.

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6 Responses

  1. This is the very first year ever that I have not helped. :( I’ve just been too tired and since I am so far away this year its hard for me to help when I’m exhausted all the time. :( I’m feeling upset about it though.

    The balloons thing started when dad and I were talking about Tommy T. and his GPS “stuff”, we then decided it would be cool to put our gps location along with our phone number in a soda bottle and tie it to the balloons. Unfortunately, mom and dad changed their phone number 5 years ago, and the house was torn down, so even if any of our bottles from previous years were found they would have no way of contacting us.

  2. Pua,

    I rather like that idea. We always self-inflate the balloons, so ours would not make it too far :) – the ceiling and back to the floor. I think you should continue adding a note/message to the balloon floats. You never know when someone will finally answer and it’s a nice part of the tradition of releasing the balloons.

    We do something similar, but only when family members are driving away after visiting – we wave to them (they wave too) until their cars are no longer in sight. Sometimes people will drive by while we’re waving and wave back because we’re often standing outside for a while.

  3. Awww I love to throw a good party too! I think it’s agreat talent your mom has, and a sweet tradition with the balloons…but i gotta say this…careful! when the baloons pop its very dangerous for local animals! (sorry had to say it! lol)

  4. I love this post. And I love your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine last week (sorry it’s taken me so long to comment back) =)

  5. What a fun idea…I can’t believe you’ve never gotten a letter back.

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