I am so enjoying this day, revelling in the aftereffects of yesterday’s story about young Falcon Heene AKA “Balloon Boy”. What is so very refreshing about this story is that the cautionary tale was all about a kid just being a kid. No guile, no personal agenda and no malice intended. Very straightforward.
Falcon (could anybody have come up with a better name for this kid?), after having been yelled at by his Dad for playing with the weather balloon, went and hid in a cardboard box in the rafters of his garage. Then he promptly fell asleep for a number of hours. The balloon subsequently broke its tether and flew fifty miles from Fort Collins to the Denver vicinity. Another child had erroneously (perhaps merely wishing it to be true) reported that Falcon had climbed into the balloon right before it took off. When it finally alit, alas, there was no boy inside.
The involved authorities are trying to be very formal and authoritarian about this “mishap”, and are calling for a possible investigation into the whys and wherefores in order to justify the expenses incurred. Fugedaboudit! Don’t throw good money after bad. This was simply an incident of a kid being a kid.
Why, many are asking, was Falcon so scared of his father? Duh! He did not want to be yelled at for possibly being responsible for the loss of an expensive piece of equipment. Any parent in their right mind would be just as adamant as Mr. Heene was in scolding his son for playing with something that clearly was not a toy. The boy’s reaction, getting and staying put in a place for a few hours until his Dad’s anger subsided, is not hard to understand. No child abuse here, just a typical parent/youngster action and reaction to normal admonishment of what is okay and what is not. Nothing more to read into this.
I remember when my sister and I were of a comparable young age, we got some paints on our new carpet (or was it the Silly Putty on the newly painted walls?). We promptly ran and hid until a few minutes later when our mother discovered the mess. She found my sister right off the bat. However, I had a fantastic hiding place: a small niche in the back of the linen closet. No way was Mom ever going to find me. But her calls for me were becoming angrier and angrier, so I chickened out, not wanting to escalate her frustrations (and perhaps the consequences) even more, and I exited the closet. But certainly, just like Falcon, if nobody would have been seeking me out, I too would have just taken a nap and stayed exactly where I was.
So chill, America. There is nothing suspicious about this event. A kid, through no intention of his own, just happened to get the best of many adults. The grownups should cease and desist trying to save face, accept the simplicity of the situation, and be happy as clams that this child is safe and sound. And so much smarter than any of the big people!