Ball State

The bags full of colorful plastic blocks lay disregarded on the floor.   Having been emptied of what makes them essential, they withered into nothingness, my children kicking them across the floor, even crumpling them underneath their feet.   I snatched them up from the floor as my husband sat at the kitchen table with our children, relentlessly working to put together the Lego Voltron my husband had bought for himself to celebrate his 41st birthday. It was his time with the boys and they loved doing things like this with dad, so I let them be.   As I continued to pick up the bags, the conversation between father and spawns, more specifically Spawn 1 caught my attention.

“Dad, do you know Ball State?” he asked his fingers methodically putting together the yellow lion of Voltron’s arm. “Is that a real name?”

“Yeah, it’s real,” my husband replied.

I continued picking up the kitchen as the conversation went on.

“Well, don’t you think that’s a weird name ‘Ball State’?” Spawn #1 said again and at this point the youngest spawn, at 6 years of age, started chanting, “ball, ball, ball, ball” as he continued putting together his portion of Voltron.

“No, not really,” my husband replied. “Where did you hear this from?”

“On my Madden game, they were talking about one of the Carolina Panthers players went to Ball State and I just thought that was a weird name.”

Of course, I thought this was just mindless chit-chat between father and son, you know inquisitive little minds wanting to know everything.   They remained quiet for a few moments before my oldest spawn continued on.

“Well, it’s a good thing that it’s not called Balls State, because that would be embarrassing don’t you think, dad? To say, ‘hey, I go to Balls State,’ you know what I’m saying. Right, dad? You know balls?” he said as he started giggling.

I stopped for a moment and stifled my own laugh until the youngest one started saying, “balls, balls, balls, balls,” all the while laughing himself.   He actually turned it into a sort of singsong.

I couldn’t help myself and neither could my husband.   We both laughed as we tried to quell the incessant “balls, balls, balls,” comments from the youngest one.

Within a few minutes, we’d had our deep belly laughs, the ones that hurt and make it difficult to catch your breath.   The boys and my husband continued on with putting Voltron together, piece by plastic piece.

Boys…it’s never a dull minute with either one of them, and the constant turning of wheels inside their brains…well, I never underestimate what exactly they’re thinking.

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