Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, Balloon Boy . . .

I feel badly for Balloon Boy.

What kind of parents want to make their kids the center of this kind of drama: Faking his departure in a homemade helium balloon, attracting the world's attention as they worried (okay, most of us were worried, there were some Ridnitzes out there who were hoping the kid would die) about this kid, only to find (no surprise there) that the kid was hiding in the attic above the garage, ignoring the calls of his parents and other searchers as they looked for him.

They're trying to teach this kid to lie, now that they've admitted the stunt was a publicity hoax they hoped would put them back in the limelight for, well, I'm not really sure. CNN doesn't say.

Fortunately for Falcone Heene, the little kid couldn't tell a lie.

"You said it was for the show," the kid said on Larry King Live, as Wolf Blitzer, living up to his blitzy beard, pursued the father when his little kid said that live. When I heard this drama Thursday, when I heard that the balloon was empty when it landed, I knew they'd find the kid at home. And I suspected highly that the whole thing was a stunt. A family that chases storms, gets on reality shows and otherwise draws attention to themselves isn't one that would be beyond setting up this kind of stupid stunt.

So I'm glad Falcon, in his innocence, couldn't tell a lie. I hope he's not the only one in the family who learns something from this.

His parents should have known better. There are certain children, at a certain age -- and Falcon Heene certainly fits in this category -- that are innocent and guileless. They're not going to lie because they don't see the point, they don't know what a lie is. My five-year-old is like this. There's no point in asking my kid to keep a secret because the truth always comes out. Not that it's malicious -- it's just the opposite. They simply see no sense in telling something contrary to the truth, rather than anything else. And it's the truth -- not what someone tells them is the truth. How many times have I said or implied that, yes, we did do this or we did not do that so he'd tell his mother what I wanted him to tell him; to tell him my version of "the truth." And it never works. He tells the real, honest-to-God truth. And I get in trouble for it. Which is right. I hope he keeps it up.

So the Heene family is getting the publicity they deserve, though, perhaps, not the kind of publicity they wanted.

1 comment:

Maaike said...

Truth is beautiful! I love honesty. I also love soap bubbles and orangutans...but I'm not trying to get on a "reality" tv show.