When my daughter Jayla was turning six, all she wanted for her birthday was a balloon walker. She was fascinated when she went to a friend's birthday party and saw the cartoon helium balloon on a string with pennies in its cardboard shows to hold it down just enough to walk around the room.

In some ways, this was a sad birthday because Jayla had been sad that her father and I were going through a divorce. I was willing to do whatever I could to make Jayla's birthday a happy one.

Jayla has an April birthday, and the day was perfect weather as we went to the party shop that morning to choose her balloon walker. She chose a girl with a bow.

At home, we put the pennies in the feet before the party started. All her kindergarten classmates came, as well as her numerous cousins. Jayla was happy!

As I put Jayla to bed that night, the beautiful weather had turned to a cold night. I turned on the heater, then went to bed myself.

Around midnight, I was startled by the rustling sound of someone walking down the hallway. I was frozen with fear as the sound got closer and closer. Who was in my house?

Finally, there was a shadow in my room of someone standing over me. My fight response caused me to pull back my fist and hit the figure in the face as hard as I could.

My fist was crammed into a soft, nylon-like substance, and that is when I realized I had just punched the balloon walker.

August 02, 2019 15:00

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