Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The mystery box along the Cannon River April 12, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I MISSED THE BIG MOMENT by just minutes.

From the highway, I observed a group of people clustered along a recreational trail by the Cannon River in Cannon Falls. I had no clue what they were doing there on such a cold winter afternoon. But then, as our van drew closer, I saw the oversized box and a bouquet of pink balloons. My initial reaction to pink anything in public is related to breast cancer. Perhaps they were honoring a loved one.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Any guesses?



By the time my husband swung the van into a parking lot and I exited, the balloons were already tucked inside the major-appliance-sized cardboard box. I’d missed the prime photo opp.

Still, I needed to learn the story behind the riverside gathering.



Turns out…ready for this? The group was there for a gender reveal party as in “Is it a boy or a girl?”

The obvious answer given the pink balloons is girl. I congratulated the father-to-be as he climbed a stairway from the river to parking lot. Noticing grey tinging his hair, I asked, “Your first?” I’m nosy curious like that.

“My fourth, her first,” he answered.

What a joyous moment for the family and even strangers like me. A baby is always cause to celebrate.

TELL ME: What are your thoughts on gender reveal events/parties? Have you attended one? If yes, let’s hear details.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “The mystery box along the Cannon River”

  1. Sandra Seelhammer Says:

    What a cute way to gather as friends and family and find out the news! We chose not to find out the gender of our first baby but I did have fun revealing our pregnancy to my parents (their first grandchild) with frosted sugar cookies. They had arrived to visit and I sat a plate of frosted star shaped cookies out on the table decorated in red, white, and blue frosting appropriately for the forth of July holiday. As we ate the cookies on the plate the hidden layer of cookies below were hearts frosted pink and blue. An obvious discrepancy from the vibrant blue and red stars before. It was fun to see the joy on their faces and feel the love in their hearts.

  2. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    This is a cute family moment, but I do not favor gender reveal parties, nor extravagant photos before the baby’s birth. Social media has created a keep-up-with-Jones mentality that has young people spending more money on frivolous things than planning for future expenses. I come from a different generation that lived within its means and paid as we went.

  3. Don Says:

    I’m old fashioned and prefer the 9 months anticipation. No need to spoil the surprise early!

  4. Judy M Says:

    I have never heard of a gender reveal party until reading your post. It was fun being surprised when our babies were born.

  5. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    That’s a really cute idea.

  6. Valerie Says:

    Fun idea…my son and daughter-in-law made a short video and popped pink streamers at the end to reveal their baby’s gender.

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