Death of Ball

BallI watch as she runs towards the exercise ball — pen in hand — leaps into the air, and delivers a killing blow. The squishy orb pops. Her eyes widen as she realizes what she’s done. Regan, my four-year old daughter, wheels around, “Don’t tell, Mom.” She is in a panic; her index finger is covering the hole created by her weapon.

“What were you thinking?” I ask. Then: “Mom’s gonna be mad.” I exacerbate the situation.

“No,” she screams, “No. You can’t tell her.” Regan is terrified. Her eyes are darting back-and-forth, searching for a solution. “Quick, bring me my Crayon box.”

“What?”

“Now,” her tiny voice wails.

“Regan, I don’t think your Crayons are gonna help you.” I take a deep, tired breath and move towards her. “Take your finger off the ball and let’s go tell Mom.”

“No! Get me my Crayon box.”

I shove a rising laugh down my throat. “Okay.” I grab the colorful box atop the bookshelf. I walk it to her.

“Great, now dump it.”

“What?”

“Just do it.”

I dump it.

“There,” she says, pointing. Her eyes are alight with hope.

“What’s that?” I ask. A small, white sticker is resting atop the pile of overturned Crayons.

“A patch.”

“Why do you have a patch in your Crayon box?”

“Give it to me, hurry.”

I hand it to her. She peels the back of the patch off and slams it onto the ball.

Relief courses through her body. She sighs: “All better.”

I laugh now and say, “We still have to tell Mom.”

She smiles, too, and deviously reveals her fragile teeth. “Are you sure?”