Let me begin by apologizing once again that I am falling behind in my classics-reading quest. I have not forgotten; Owen has been sick since December and I am struggling to find free time. It was easier when he merely had bilateral ear infections-- that didn't affect our daily routine much. But now that he has a rash on his rear end that the doctor has us treating with both antifungal AND antibiotic ointments, as well as fluid behind his ear drums and a serious bacterial infection of his colon, it's safe to say that free time arrives sparingly, and is usually used to tend to the slightly more important matters of laundry, dishes, and feeding my children.
So today, instead of relating to my readers a synopsis / review of a book I have read, I am instead going to TELL a story.
**The Story of Boon**
Once upon a time, a boy named Owen was growing up in a relatively small, quiet town in Pennsylvania. He was a happy child (once his first 4 or so months had passed) and needed little more than his parents and his sister to keep him entertained. He was, however, stricken with a paralyzing fear of balloons. On strings, off strings, floating in the air, being tossed around from person to person-- all balloons caused Owen to scream and cower in terror. His parents had to be careful about where they were seated in restaurants, because if they ended up in a booth by balloons, there would be trouble.
Then, one day, Owen went to visit his friends Matthew and Andrew. While army-crawling around on the carpet, Owen happened upon a really exciting looking string. He chewed the string for awhile, then started to pull on it, wondering what was attached.
Lo and behold! It was a balloon! Owen tentatively jerked on the string, first just once, then repeatedly, excited at the bobbing and jumping of the not-so-scary-after-all balloon. He spent the rest of his visit solely with the balloon (Matthew and Andrew had to entertain themselves with Owen's big sister, Addison), and a new love was born.
When Owen arrived home, he discovered that the gold Green Bay Packers balloon, only a few days ago so terrifying, was still in the house (stowed away in the office.) He began to bring it everywhere. What a friend! What a toy! It cured every boo-boo and righted every wrong! Even made it acceptable to let your sissy dress you up!
Owen's family, tired of addressing the new friends as "Owen and his balloon", shortened it to "Owen-and-Boon", and Boon followed him everywhere. Boon was there when Owen laughed, and there when he cried...
...until one day, when Owen realized that Boon could be temporary. During a particularly vigorous moment of play, Owen popped Boon.
(*not pictured-- a completely baffled, sad looking Owen with a piece of shiny gold balloon still stuck to his lower lip, trying persistently to toss Boon back up into the air. Could not get to the camera fast enough.)
Realizing what a devastating loss this was, Mommy went out to the store the same night and brought home a new Boon for Owen.
Excited, Owen was determined not to waste a moment with this new Boon. He played with it in his exersaucer. He played with it while Mommy changed his diaper. He even leaned on Boon's cheerful companionship to help him endure his sissy's "crawling lessons."
Alas, Owen had overcome his crippling fear of balloons and realized that sometimes, friends can be found in the most unlikely of places. He also learned to keep his friends close by his side, and that there are better things to put in your mouth than balloons. Like bottles.
** THE END**