Never ever give a toddler a helium balloon,
No matter that it’s tied around his wrist. It won’t always be,
And in that moment when it sails up, a soul escaping,
Smaller and smaller, ‘tilt a pinprick in the blue –
Where? There! Where? Gone –
In that moment he knows there are places he can’t go
Far more mysterious than the road or the driveway,
Places that only a balloon can go,
Places a balloon would rather be,
Places a balloon will never come back from.
That is the moment the toddler will
Know his insignificance, and yours.
That is the moment the toddler will sprout wings
Big enough to match his longings.
You, rooted to the spot, will watch him take off.