I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up in a house where playing ball in the house wasn’t always welcome. We might get away with kicking the soccer ball in the house for a little bit, but then someone would overzealously kick the ball and it would break the lampshade and then we were all in the dog house and balls were once again banned in the house.

Then I had kids of my own and I adopted the no throwing/kicking balls in the house – it seemed like a reasonable rule. That is unless Steve was participating – he liked throwing footballs to the kids as they would run and dive into the couch. This felt like controlled chaos. But Steve throwing the ball led to a much younger Hunter throwing the ball, which led to “knee soccer” between the couches, which led to full on soccer matches. I didn’t approve. The tv would get hit. The clock. The vase on the entertainment center. The pendant lights in the kitchen. You get the idea.

The vase on the end table seemed to take the most hits – it was always in the line of fire. Almost two years ago, the vase on the table was broken. I was mad. How many times had I asked them not to play with that ball in the house? I discarded the broken vase and a few months later, I found a new vase/plant for my table. Steve questioned my vase placement.

Why would you put anything on that table knowing very well it is going to be knocked over?

It wouldn’t get knocked over if they didn’t play with balls.

They have so much fun playing those games, just don’t put anything back on the table. I’d rather have them playing then have a vase you’re worried about getting broken.

A longer conversation ensued over time. We have come to the agreement that balls in the house are welcome. There have been times when it gets out of hand and I’ve had to reign them in. And sometimes the ball will hit something it shouldn’t and they all get silent and look at me. Sometimes I suggest they be more careful and sometimes I don’t say anything at all. But for the most part, we welcome the ball throwing and kicking. I have come to realize things are going to get broken and that’s okay. Our house will be lived in – our time with boys constantly kicking a soccer ball against the couch won’t last forever, but for now, we welcome it.

Not long ago I returned home one evening and Cannon confidently told me they accidentally knocked the plant off the table playing soccer but luckily it really wasn’t broken. He walked me over to the table to show me the vase was fine. As I got closer I could see the large crack through the vase – in multiple places. Was I disappointed? Yes. Was I angry? No. With how many balls we have flying around, it was just a matter of time before we had a casualty.

I thought to quickly toss the broken vase and then I thought better of it and left it in its place. You can’t imagine how many times I’ve walked by this vase and every single time I see the cracks. And after noticing it’s brokenness, my next thought has been – we have made the decision that we are raising kids who love to play sports with each other in the house and that is far more important than any vase.