a ~ To have squeezed the universe into a ball


Things you can use as a ball when you are nine and it’s summer and your family is boring:

1.  Your mom’s car keys

2. Your little brother’s new Buzz Lightyear with Power Blaster and Shield

3. Your older brother’s Hobbesonian*

4. A dirty sock+

5. A roll of yellow duct tape**

6. A ceramic flower pot

7. A broken ceramic flower pot

8.  A white rubber egg that pretends to splat when it hits a smooth surface to show off its inner yellow yolk.++

9. Rocks. Smallish ones work best.

10. Your granola bar

11. Your brother’s granola bar

12. Books***

13. A little plastic turtle named Squirtle+++

14. Teeny little oranges that have a very specific name^

* T came late to stuffed animal love, but after falling hard for a stuffed tiger (Hobbes) in the 3rd grade, he has protected his growing collection with a vengeance.

+It’s summer. Laundry is sporadic.  All our socks are dirty.

**L is fascinated with duct tape and has a growing collection of weirdly vibrant colors.

++These eggs have a shelf life of about 7 splats. Then they burst, which is, apparently, the best part.

***Which your mother keeps trying to get you to read.

+++Squirtle is one of those rare toys that has survived our chaotic household, even though he is small and silent. I don’t remember where he came from. He appeared a few years ago in L’s hands and, though occasionally he’ll go missing for months at a time, has made his home here. He doesn’t even seem to mind being tossed through the humid air and just as likely left to fall to the ground, over and over.

^Which I just can’t now recall.

I worry, sometimes, that we don’t provide our kids with enough of the tools – balls, hoops, goals, cones, ring toss games – their friends have. I worry we’re stunting L’s development, which is obviously slanted towards sports. But mostly I like to watch to see what he chooses as his next potential projectile. It amuses him, and more importantly, it amuses me.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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