Oct 15 2009

Up, up and away

genthumb.ashxSo…you might have caught a little news story about a six year old boy here in Colorado who took his family’s helium balloon for a joyride this afternoon. The handmade craft (and I mean craft as in craft project, as well as aircraft), believed to be carrying the child, soared over the Colorado landscape this afternoon and encroached so far into DIA’s airspace that planes in and out of the airport were diverted. All’s well that ends well, and the youngster was found at home, hiding in a box in the attic over the garage.

Lots is being said about the family, about their appearance on the show “Wife Swap,” about their beliefs, about how they’re raising their three sons. Storm chasing and such.

I am so relieved that this young boy is safe. Tom turned on the tv at lunch and we both about had a stroke. We have rabidly slightly curious sons and it wasn’t difficult at all to imagine what the parents were going through.

But here it comes. The parental backlash. You know it’s coming. Why were the boys home from school? Why were the parents inside, leaving the children unattended out in their own backyard? What kind of family builds a helium balloon in their backyard? Are the children safe in such an environment? Maybe we should remove them from the home while we investigate this uncommon parenting style.

I believe it was a school holiday. Because parents don’t need to be on top of their children at all times, especially when the kids are in the backyard. The kind of family that wants to expand their sons’ minds by teaching hands-on science. Damned right, they’re safe; more kids should have such an environment. Remove them? Why not just follow up with a full-on lobotomy, so the world is safe from thinking and experimenting and curiosity.

Yes, there was a massive search. Yes, this made international news quickly. Yes, it was a terrible accident, with the perfect ending. The young boy is safe. Isn’t that what’s most important? Go easy on the parents; they have a full weekend of hug/smack ahead of them.

Breathing now…


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  1. CorrieHwe

    This seems to be the blog topic of the day. 🙂 I hadn’t heard about it until I started reading blogs. Goodness knows my son is curious enough to do something unexpected.

  2. Chelle

    I followed the story with my heart in my throat, can you imagine? It is every parent’s worst nightmare and you know that, had he been in that thing (or, dangling from it ina box or whatever the story was), the backlash would have been just as bad.

    What is with people these days? When we were kids there was no judgement on our parents for letting us play unattended in our own backyards. We didn’t wear helmets or seatbelts and no one called Social Services. We have just become such a nasty nation of busy-bodies with nothing better to do than judge the parenting styles of other people in the desperate hope that our own parenting will look good beside them.

    So sad.

    Thank God that kid was in the attic, which, is TOTALLY where I would go to sulk if my dad yelled at me for playing with his experimental weather balloon. Just sayin’.

  3. Jamie

    A-freaking-men. Well put.

  4. Robin from Israel

    This story even made the hourly radio news broadcasts here in Israel! Thank goodness he wasn’t actually up there, and I’ll add another amen to your rant as well.

  5. Aaron The Truck Driver

    “youngster was found at home, hiding in a box in the attic over the garage”

    Haaa. Glad they found him. He was at home the entire time?

  6. Denise

    Wondering if you are going to go easy on them now that charges are going to be filed against mr.heene. Odd story….odd man really. POOR kids.

  7. Shelley

    Now here’s the sad thing: all these people were worried about the kid, searching for him…and it was a publicity stunt planned by his parents.

    Those parents have clearly never read the fable about the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Will the community be as eager to look for the next missing child?


  8. Tendrils

    I was so thinking of you that day! Hubby and I were on our way to Chicago and had stopped at a greasy spoon to eat lunch. we watched for over an hour as that thing soared through the air….all the time thinking how awful it would be to be the kids’ parents. Little did I know…what a freak the parents turned out to be! WTF?!?!?!?

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