Balloons on the Mailbox

The Parent-Teacher Organization at a high school offers people a thoughtful way to congratulate seniors during the week leading to their graduation. For five dollars, people can buy a balloon that says, “Congrats Grad!”, and write a personal message on an index card that is taped to the balloon. A PTO volunteer attaches the balloons to the mailboxes.
People can buy as many balloons as they like, for as many graduates as they like. Many parents buy one or more balloons for their own child, as well as balloons for the child’s friends. Come graduation week, some graduates have one or two balloons rising off their mailbox, others have twenty or more.

One Saturday afternoon before graduation, a volunteer began driving around town, tying the balloons to the assigned mailboxes. Her first stop was a mailbox in a cul- de-sac where several mailboxes sat clustered on a stand. As she tied a bunch of balloons, a mother came out of a house.

“How many balloons is that girl getting?” the mother asked the volunteer.

“I don’t know,” the volunteer replied. “This is my first stop and I’m still sorting through the balloons.”

“Does that girl have more balloons than my daughter?” the mother asked. “I mean, that girl is always getting more recognition than my daughter. My daughter better have as many balloons as that girl does.”