Monday, March 26, 2012

Wilson and Willy

Ben is seven-years-old, the youngest of three, very active and needs something constructive to do or there will be trouble. He and his ten-year-old sister Amanda come over one or two times a week while their mother is at work or nursing school. “Technically, they are my step-grandchildren,” I respond when people hear them calling me Grandma Sharon and question how it’s possible, either because I look so young or because they know my kids are 20 and 16 and wonder if one of them “got in trouble.”

As Ben was recently frustrated with our flat basketball and had been taking an interest in sports, I picked up a new basketball and a football for small hands prior to his next sleepover. The balls did not become objects for sport as much as they were adopted by Ben as his new playmates. I told Ben about the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away and how his character had only Wilson the soccer ball to talk to while stranded on the island. Ben was inspired by my story and named his basketball “Wilson” and the football “Willy.” After all, they were also Wilson Sporting Goods products and had their names on them.
Ben's artistic rendering of Wilson and Willy

Wilson and Willy played on the swing with Ben, jumped on the trampoline with him, had conversations and disagreements, sat at the dinner table with us, got wiped off when they got dirty; just like they were dolls. He even took Wilson and Willy to bed with him and kept the boxes his new friends came in so they could be perched without rolling. My daughter Kelsey rolled her eyes when Ben brought the balls to the table and carefully placed them in the chair beside him, insinuating that Ben was a little crazy. “Doesn’t he remind you of someone else when she was little?” I asked her, “You used to have conversations with your spoon and fork at the table, your crayons got in fights with each other then kissed and made up. Pretending the balls are people isn’t really that much of a stretch.”

What a great age to be able to lose yourself in your imagination and create personalities for inanimate objects. How incredibly cute!

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