They're supposed to be all about happiness, but one kind of helium-filled fun nearly amounted to a final horror for a Marysville teen.
"It was, like, kind of traumatic for me, and I don't know if I want to drive, like, anytime soon," said 16-year-old Kayla.
"There are no words. I didn't know if she was dead or alive," said Kayla's mother Kristi.
"It was just a situation that you couldn't get out of," Kayla said.
Using her month-old driver's license, Kayla picked up five Mylar balloons for a friend and anchored them in the back seat of her car as her mom had advised Monday, using a small plastic disc.
But then she cracked a window -- undoing what she had done to be safe.
"When I tried to get the strings to get out of my face, the steering wheel would go with it. So it just, like, happened, really, really fast."
What was going through her mind?
"What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? Like, I couldn't see," she said.
As those balloons got into her face and she lost control, her car dissolved into shards of glass and knots of metal.
She narrowly missing being skewered by a guard rail along B Street that pierced her Honda CRV when she crashed.
"That railing just went through my whole car, and it was, like, right by my face."
She had to be told that because she doesn't remember waking up inside her crumpled car or climbing out of it.
The advice she now has that she hopes will save other young drivers?
"Pay attention and things happen in, like, a second. Anything can happen in, like, a second, and you just gotta always be cautious," she said.
Kayla's mom has more than that warning to offer after her daughter's wreck.
She's also worried about the soundness of the guard rail -- which was fixed Thursday -- that didn't serve as a buffer and instead became a weapon.
"The guard rail impaling the vehicle, I can't even describe. There's no words," said Kristi.
She believes Kayla survived to warn other young drivers to focus on eliminating distractions, and she believes the angel she sees in one particular crash picture helped.
"There's no other way to explain her walking away other than she had an angel watching over her. God was protecting her."
The Marysville Fire Department responded to Kayla's crash.
Chief Dale Vogelsang says under more normal circumstances the guard rail in question would have helped bounce a car away from the sidewalk, but Kayla's car was too far to the right to serve its original purpose.