We joined in celebrating the engagement of friends today. A large, happy group met at a local park and enjoyed the beautiful winter sunshine we are currently being blessed with. (After seemingly endless weeks of rain, the sunshine is truly a blessing.)
Davey took his favourite soccer ball, the one he's had for 5 soccer seasons. I asked if he'd rather take his newer ball, but no, he wanted to take his old faithful. It used to be shiney red and in primary school he carried it to school and home again everyday, so he and his friends could play soccer at lunch time. Davey's received a new soccer ball every season for the last 4 years, but this one has remained his ball of choice.
He likes the softness of the casing of this ball. Despite it's dilapidated state:
15 or so boys and young men joined in a good humoured game of soccer. Then a stray staffordshire terrier happened on the game. The dog obviously enjoyed a good competition. I could see the possibility of trouble ahead, but didn't act. I actually didn't realise at this point that the dog was a stray, dogs are allowed in the park and I thought it belonged to one of the young men who seemed to take him in hand. I looked at Davey and he didn't seemed concerned so I continued chatting. Of course, within the next minute the playful staffy had locked his powerful jaws on the ball and it was no longer round. This time when I looked at Davey I knew how dumb I had been.
One of the young men extracted the remains of the ball from the staffy's jaws and Davey walked over to our car with it as tears fell down his cheeks.
I went and chatted to him as he collected his composure - no embarrassing Mum hugs or anything, just a few words to let him know I understood. He regrouped and rejoined the game as another ball was scrounged from the boot of someone else's car.
Once we got home he pumped the ball again, but it's had it's last days of fun with Davey's feet. We'll try sealant on the punctures, but, reality won't change. I don't think Davey will throw the now useless ball away though, as it was the last soccer ball his Dad ever bought for him. It's an irreplaceable item.