I Miss You Soccer Ball

Dear Soccer Ball,

I wonder if you ever made it to Africa. Did you make a child happy? You spent a lot of time just hanging out in the garage collecting dust. When the soccer club asked for donations of soccer balls, shin pads and shoes, we thought of you.

Giving you away was a ‘feel good’ moment, but it felt like a ‘how to fail your kid’ kind of day. That day I downplayed my daughter’s attachment to you. She was upset when we put you in the donation box and she cried when we drove home.

I wasn’t expecting that reaction from her. My daughter has a big heart, she is a generous, loving girl willing to help anyone. We tried to talk her into believing this was the right thing to do.

It would have been so easy to turn the van around and pick you out of the pile. If I could go back and change that day, that’s what I would have done. My daughter didn’t need a lecture on being selfish. She needed you and I let her down.

The rest of the day I felt guilty for giving you away and ashamed for lecturing her. It was not my place to take you anywhere, and I had no business telling her how she should feel. You weren’t just a ball, you were her favourite ball, her lucky ball.

I told her we would go back the next day and get you, but when we got there, you were long gone. Giving you away was my daughter’s decision to make not mine. If she couldn’t part with you, she wasn’t being selfish, she just wasn’t ready to let you go.

Years have passed, and sometimes I think of that day, and I wish I could go back and do it over. I told my daughter many times how awful I felt.

You taught me a lesson that day and I have never forgotten it. Don’t trivialize my children’s feelings and don’t give their stuff away without permission.

I will always remember you and the lessons I learned that day.

Jane

6 thoughts on “I Miss You Soccer Ball

  1. Perhaps you learned a lesson and I agree with your conclusion: it was hers to give away. You should have asked &/or prepared her.
    However, perhaps your daughter got one of life’s lessons, too, because we can’t hang onto things. A tornado may sweep down and remove all our precious stuff in a moment of time. A beloved pet can die. A family member may move away — or even pass on. It’s these little sorrows that prepare us for the bigger, inescapable ones that will come.
    Nobody likes a painful lesson, but life hands them out by times.

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  2. I am crying after reading your post. For the assignment we did on loss, I wrote about my parents giving things of mine away without my knowledge. http://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/loss-in-an-army-brats-life/ I loved that you were willing to go back and look for it the next day and that you take accountability for your mistakes. How I would have loved for my parents to have taken the attitude that you took once you realized what you had done. Your story has been healing for me. Thank you.

    At the same time, you are human. Human’s make mistakes. It is time for you to forgive yourself. I imagine your daughter has already forgiven you since you helped her process the loss at the time.

    I agree with all of the things Christine said to you as well!

    And in terms of your writing…….I love the creative way you wrote your story……..

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    • Karuna, I’m glad my post helped you. Thank you for your kind words. Writing this was hard but it was also healing. I can forgive myself and let it go. You are right, my daughter has forgiven me and it’s time I forgave myself. I hope you do heal from past hurts. I wish you happiness 🙂

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      • I didn’t realize I still had more healing to do around it until I reacted so strongly to your piece! For me it was a “filling in with the good” piece that comes after releasing most of the old energy. Thanks again.

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