My boys shattered a Lego Adidas Superstar by playing soccer in my work area: A discourse on cherished breakables while parenting

OPINION: Really, it’s my fault. I should have put it in storage until they were out of the house.

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Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Like, it’s both my fault and not my fault. My kids have built up a bit of a resume when it comes to destroyed household items. There are the two flat-screen televisions they’ve broken in our playroom, the same crime scene where a soccer ball—perhaps ironically—took out my Lego Adidas Superstar (shell toe) model. Perhaps ironically because when I think of soccer, I usually think of Adidas. I’m a Paris Saint-Germain fan, so I’m all Nike yada yada yada, but I’m just saying. 

Anywho, despite the chalk wall my wife commissioned me to paint in this same playroom, there are the myriad walls in my home that have been written on with Sharpies AFTER the completion of said chalk wall. And my couch—let’s talk about my couch. The kids treat it like a jungle gym, which is actually better than its previous function: a wall intended to become a mural. One of my kids, in particular, used to get immense joy out of finding ballpoint pens and then scribbling all over my taupe-adjacent cushions and foundation. In one hallway of my home is either a John Nash-style, beautiful-mind math equation, or one of my other kids is simply writing a stream of numbers and symbols in a line on a wall. It really could be either.

Oh, and there’s the time that my boys, Batman and the Dark Knight, were playing some version of football in the hallway that houses a preponderance of my kicks, all still pristine in their pristine boxes should I ever decide to sell them, when an errant pass did not reach its target, and one of them landed on top of a row of shoeboxes, effectively destroying them and their resale value. Though, to be fair, all the shoes they destroyed had little to no resale value and are mostly shoes I’m mad I bought in the first place; I love Kid Cudi, but I haven’t even seen HIM wearing his Adidas Vadawam 326 shoes, and I bought TWO pair of them. That, like all of this, is my fault. 

See, my kids are high energy, in a good way. That means my house is always loud and balls are always flying. Footballs. Soccer balls. Basketballs. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. No artwork or collectible is safe, and I know this. In fact, I’ve started to make it a point to not buy things I’m worrying about getting destroyed, ya know, just in case. But you know, despite the sadness at the shattering of my Lego build, I also had to appreciate how I found out. 

The kid who kicked the ball when it broke, well, he came downstairs to tell me. Now, of course, he tried to wind the story up with a lot of breathy, quick talking that clearly indicated something bad had happened. And because my computer is in this space—just to be clear, I have very clearly told them not to kick balls around in this particular room and explained why—I’m always worried they will break it…again.

SIDEBAR: Somebody in my house that isn’t me knocked my computer off of the desk and cracked the screen in several places, so badly that I bought another camera to use for Zoom meetings, etc., because they cracked the glass right over the camera. Nobody in this house will even acknowledge it happened or admit to doing it—including my wife. 

Anywho, my son told me, and it immediately took me into a place of not-madness. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t mad either. I appreciated his owning up to it. Especially because there was a time, not too long ago, when that absolutely wasn’t the case, which taught me a lot about my boys…in a good way.

I mentioned already that my boys had broken two flat-screen televisions. What I didn’t mention is that when they broke the first one, I literally had no idea what they’d done because the duo actually stood tall in such a fashion that I believed they had nothing to do with it. In fact, I thought the television, maybe 8 years old at the time, had just gone on the fritz on its own. I looked up the television online and found a site that said, “this television breaks on its own sometimes.” My boys, they were like, “Yeah, it just stopped working! We don’t know.” 

As soon as I replaced it, they went to their mother and told her they broke it playing ninja warriors. Apparently, one of them jumped up with a stick in his hand and hit the television and broke the screen. They eventually told me this once the new TV was mounted, almost in a joyous fashion. “Daddy, we broke the TV, but you fixed it, and now it’s working!”

I was both annoyed—I  mean, they did break it—but kind of impressed that they’d managed to both stay quiet and not dime the other out. I learned that they have one another’s back, and also, they know when to stay silent. They will be remarkable co-defendants for one another (in the household, not a real courtroom), and this both makes me proud and gives me a bit of pause. I suppose that’s what parenting is all about. 

Meanwhile, I should have known better about the Lego shoe. I shan’t be replacing it. I’ll just wear the real thing and hope they don’t color it red…again. 

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

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