Yesterday, I was telling my mom a story while we were both sitting on the couch, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a hot air balloon go by. I essentially turned five years old. My sentence went something like this.
“Yeah, I saw on the news that – A BALLOON! A BALLOON!”
And the rest of the conversation was lost.
Here’s the story of one of the coolest days of my childhood (and maybe my life).
My brother and I were eating breakfast one morning. I remember that it was still pretty early because we were rocking matching pyjamas that our maternal grandma made us. We had a few sets – adorable pants and button-up shirt combos, just like kids in the movies wear.
We spotted a beautiful rainbow hot air balloon through our back window.
“WHOA! Look at that, Mom! TOO COOL!”
My mom looked outside, her face a mixture of wonder and concern.
“It looks awfully close.” she said.
And she was right.
It didn’t take long for us to realize that the hot air balloon was drifting straight into our neighbourhood. Literally. As it got closer and closer to the ground, it became clear that the hot air balloon was going to LAND.
I can’t even remember if my brother and I put on shoes. We took off running out through the backyard and down about half a block to the intersection just behind our house. The balloon floated down to the ground – taking what felt like forever – until the giant basket hit the street. I couldn’t believe how immense the entire thing was. Up in the sky, they look like toys – like you could reach out to one, grab it, and put it in your pocket. This balloon was so gigantic that our excitement was quickly met with intimidation. I was vibrating with anticipation, my cheeks sore from the giant grin on my face.
I don’t know if it was an emergency landing or what. What I do know is that as soon as the basket hit the ground, the man from the balloon jumped out of it and jogged away so as not to be enveloped by yards and yards of rainbow balloon.
Guys, I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t know if any guy has ever seemed as cool as the balloon guy. He honestly might as well have been an astronaut (i.e., the coolest people ever). I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open in awe as he jogged away. What a hero, I thought to myself, that man flew a balloon.
That was the day I learned that sometimes magic happens.