For anyone that collects sports memorabilia, this one’s for you.
We don’t have very many items, but the few my husband does have, mean a lot to him. He’s pretty choosy when it comes to getting autographs, particularly on his special football.
Of course, there was never an issue about the collectibles when we didn’t have children. The items could be proudly displayed in the home office without any worry about little hands tossing around various sports balls as their own toys.
Kids don’t understand that they are not supposed to flip through the comic books that are wrapped in plastic.
Seven year olds don’t know the value of unopened boxes of sports trading cards, and wonders why he can’t just add them to his own collection in his binder.
Thankfully the baseballs are in pretty glass cases and can’t be mistaken for replacements when the ones in the garage can’t be located in time for a scrap game in the yard.
All of the above memorabilia now resides under lock and key in a protected location because we’ve learned from our mistakes. But there’s one item that just couldn’t be sent away. The autographed football. There have been plenty of times when we have tucked it into our backpack with a Sharpie, hoping to add to the signatures while watching the Colts practice, or are invited to a special sporting event. So to have it inconveniently inaccessible, well, is a pain.
There’s a problem with this though. It’s called, We Have A Son That Is Obsessed With Football. But he doesn’t understand that The Football is not to be played with. Somehow, it makes its way into the tiny grasp of his hands. Often. Filled with hopes and dreams of becoming a quarterback someday. Role playing like he is Peyton Manning or Tom Brady when he gets his hands on it, and runs through the house at top speed.
Well, Carter had some friends over to play the other day. Can you tell where this is going yet?
They were happy as clams outside for the longest time, being so well mannered, quiet and having a great time taking turns being the quarterback. Which in Mom-Speak usually means, Get Your Butt Out There And See What Is Really Going On Because Something Must Be Wrong.
That’s when it hit me.
My face must have turned white as a ghost with just the thought. Imagine me looking like the person in the painting, The Scream by Edvard Munch. Yep, the brain was making quick calculations.
Whhhhhaaaattttt?? Oh no! I quickly ran outside just in time to see one of the boys go in for a terrific catch and land right on top of the ball. Yes, this was THE ball. Spiraling towards me, I could see names like Marshall Faulk and Jerome Bettis. I could read those because they have decent handwriting and weren’t covered in grass stains.
I actually felt bad telling them they had to turn over the ball to me and could no longer play. I was torn between my pangs of thinking how many times have I tried to tell a certain-someone to put the ball where the kids won't mess with it, and just letting them continue the game and stay happy kids. And now I was turning into The Grinch Who Stole Playtime, and the Bearer of Bad News when certain-someone gets home.
I guess we should get Carter his own NFL ball for Christmas… Sorry boys, you’ll have to settle for Nerf until then…I told Carter after his friends left, I’ll let you tell your Daddy all about your ball game today. Explaining why it's a little squishy and a little dirty.
Because I’ll be too busy standing behind you biting my tongue, so that I don’t blurt out with an eyeroll the infamous Four Little Words, I Told You So…