August 14, 2014 § 1 Comment
For most of this year I have been wrestling with just how I can bring my children into greater harmony. They are often like shooting stars – going off in their own direction, to friends’ houses or sports games (how did it happen that every child chooses a different sport?!) I love it that they are gradually forging their own little lives, but I particularly want to nurture the strong centre that is the family.
There are moments: we recently had a few days’ holiday by the ocean, and I was touched one afternoon to see William holding Lily’s hand as we walked along the shore. Last week Samuel played hide and seek with his younger siblings.
Is it naive to want these moments to become the rule, rather than the exception?
As is often the way with serendipity, a rather simple and random addition to our household has provided the pathway to this goal: The Ball.
I use capitals for The Ball because it is not just any ball. Look around our house and yard and you find two basketballs, two soccer balls, a mini soccer ball, a mini basketball and numerous tennis balls. The Ball is different – bought by my mother for Robin: a cheap and light ball.
The lightness is the key – meaning that what is usually an outside toy now works as an inside thing – light enough to kick around in the lounge room without knocking things down or breaking anything. It is light and bouncy, so even the smallest of the family can throw a decent distance.
While the boys have been heading to their rooms to read or sleep after school lately, all of a sudden they are here, near me as I cook, kicking the ball to each other and making creative rebounds. Samuel loves a ball so much he will even kick with Lily (with whom he enjoys a love-hate relationship), while the ball is soft enough not to scare Lily into running away from it. And Robin, well, Robin will kick, roll, or throw with any person he can implore to ‘sit, SIT!’ as they walk by. No one can resist his tender implores.
And here it is: The Ball.