When I was a wee lass growing up on the Goff Estate, I enjoyed attending baby and/or household showers with my mom and sisters. My absolute favorite aspect of the events was the games. I particularly enjoyed any game that made the adults look foolish.

They played one game where they tried to put as many balloons as possible into a clothes basket. They weren’t allowed to use their hands. Instead, they had to use a yard stick to bat the balloons toward the basket. I can’t remember all the rules, but I do remember my mom serving as host for a few showers. When that happened, we got to bring the balloons home.

And you know what that meant.

Balloon tennis!

I’ll level with you – I can’t recall if we kept score or if we established rules to balloon tennis. Basically, my cousin and I used fly swatters and yard sticks to lob balloons at each other. We played in the living room. No, silly readers, there wasn’t a net. It’s not like we had an extra one lying around the Estate.

Balloon tennis provided dozens of minutes of fun and I thought of it recently as my great-niece and great-nephew (emphasis on great) played ball in the house. As the ball zipped past my head, barely missing lamps and electronics in the process, I said to myself, “Self, perhaps balloons would be less dangerous.”

With that in mind, I bought a bag of balloons for the children. For what it’s worth, balloons are inexpensive. You can buy a bag for a buck.

With the first selection, my great-niece picked a pink balloon. My nephew-in-law blew up the balloon, which my great-nephew pronounces boon, and I taught the children the intricacies of balloon tennis. By intricacies, I mean I showed them how to tap a boon with a fly swatter.

My great-niece enjoyed the game, but became more interested in learning how to blow up balloons. Yes, it didn’t take long for the pink boon to burst. You should have seen my great-nephew’s sad little face when that first boon popped. I thought he would burst into tears.

Luckily for him, Antie Cookie had a whole bag of boons in her purse. With the second selection, he choose green, his favorite color, and we returned to the game. And he returned to giggling with delight.

Yes, balloon tennis was a hit. A couple more boons burst, a couple more selections were made, and my great-nephew eventually threw down the fly swatter and started tapping the boon with his chocolate-covered hands and kicking it with his feet.

But like I said, there are no established rules with balloon tennis.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.