Slice of Life: A Blue Ball

Saturday morning the doorbell rang. When this happens, it’s usually someone soliciting something, your vote, your money, your beliefs. This morning was different.

I open the door and in walks our four-year old next door neighbor. “We lost our ball,”  he announces and strides past me towards the backyard. His tow-headed three-year-old brother is close behind.  I follow noticing their lack of shoes. We pass my husband and walk out the sliding glass door. The sock-footed brothers venture ahead onto the pea gravel path that surrounds our house. They seem to know where they’re going.

“It’s a blue ball,” brother number one says.

We look. Nothing. Soon my husband joins in the hunt.

“You sure you hit it over here?” I ask.

“Yes,” says brother number one. “It hit here,” he says pointing towards the trellis.

We all follow his directions and look carefully around the base. No blue ball.

Brother number two looks at me. “Can I see your cat?” Clearly the next line of inquiry. No ball, how about that cat.

“Sure,” I tell him, and we go inside. We go through bedrooms, bathrooms and back to the living room where he announces, “Here he is!”

I pick up the cat, and he gently strokes his head. “He’s a nice cat. I want a cat.”

The doorbell rings. We, brother number two and I, open the door and there stands Dad.

“Dad, can we have a cat?”

I tell Dad we have not found the blue ball.

“Dad, can we have a cat?”

We all go outside looking for brother number one, my husband and the blue ball. No blue ball but brother number one and my husband are up on the hillside climbing around.

“Didn’t you guys lose that ball a few days ago,” says Dad.

“I threw some balls over the fence a few days back,” says my husband.

Suddenly brother number two looks up and says, “Daddy, can you hold me.” Apparently the hunt is over. The three leave for home without their blue ball.

I’d forgotten this age, the tiny feet, and voices.  I’d forgotten the earnest faces and pure joy blue balls, cats, and climbing hillsides.

I’d forgotten how powerful it is to pick a person up when they need it and carry them home.

Who knows what got the boys to venture into our backyard.  I don’t think it was because they just hit the ball over the fence. Did they just remember it? Whatever the reason, those two brought back sweet reminders of tending to little ones as they grow.

Seek out more slices of life here at Two Writing Teachers.