Take a moment to cradle the filled water balloon in your cupped palms. Feel the cool, smooth weight, shifting as the water moves. It’s impossibly delicate, like an unhatched egg; it has an inner life of its own restless energy. Now raise it over your head… and smash it onto the ground! Or simply open your hands and let it drop. Or step on it! Or throw it to a friend—or at him. Kersploosh! Smack! An instant puddle spattered with two ends of broken balloon, now shrunken to colored glimmers. (Don’t forget to pick up the scraps.)
Another option is to arrive pre-armed, like stashing a snow fort with snowballs before a fight. Plastic shopping bags of prefilled water balloons sag from bike handlebars, or fill the upturned hem of a T-shirt like a basket.
Regardless, nothing says summer like the roughness of a gaggle of kids of all ages and background clambering around a public water fountain, the gentleness with which they fill and protect their ammunition, and the joy of a burst of water, sudden in the sun, and soon to disappear.
2 thoughts on “TOUCH: Water balloons”
Great post, and interesting because I grew up in the suburbs where water balloons are rare treats. I keep a column called Fathering from the Hip, and in my latest I write about why parents should limit their kids' access to water balloons. You can read it here.
I'm sure I'd feel differently if I had grown up with them on NYC playgrounds — and if parents encouraged their children to clean up after themselves!
Hilarious? I don't think so. Especially if the water balloon hits you in the face or in the eye or breaks your eye glasses.