I remember some of those summer evenings pretty vividly. All the kids on my street would walk over to the neighborhood park for some unique fun. My dad and a couple other neighborhood fathers designed a pretty powerful device using common medical supplies. They used surgical tubing and a common container to make a water balloon launcher.
They would take the contraption down to a picnic shelter and tie it to the posts while us kids would gather in a field about 75 yards away. The dads would then draw from an overflowing large bucket of water balloons and let ‘er rip.
I don’t necessarily share the same passion of getting wet as I did 20 years ago, but it seemed like all of us youngins tried to be magnets for the balloons as they shot up into the sky and descended into our mob. Don’t worry, most of the water came from the balloons although some of it was of the tear-variety when impact to the face produced more of a bruise than cool relief from the sun.
Many years later, I found myself in the same park. This time, the picnic shelter was gone and so was the balloon launcher. But not the water balloons.
My parents hosted a family reunion during the summer of 2017 and my always-entertaining aunts, uncles, and cousins decided to stage an epic water balloon fight. We filled up more than 2,500 water balloons and let them fly! We owned the park that afternoon as onlookers gazed at the massive water struggle unfolding on my old childhood stomping grounds. This frenzy reinvigorated my fondness for water balloons.
Now three years later, I have once again found myself in close proximity to Camelot Park. Over the past month, I have taken Sloan across the street numerous times. It was only a matter of time before I busted out the water balloons.
Yesterday, Sloan and I made a stop at the store to pick up an assortment of balloons. We came home and she followed me to the bathroom sink where we filled up the balloons with water, just like I did decades ago. After we had a small basket of colorful balloons filled with H2O, we took it outside. As an actual water balloon fight will come a little later in her life, I let he simply experiment with them. She popped them with a long toothpick, burst them with a plastic baseball bat, and threw them on spiky grass. It was Water Balloons 101.
Water balloons symbolize summer as much as hot dogs or fireworks. As we approach the summer solstice, consider purchasing a pack or two of them for the long evening. Don’t Blink.