Tom is home for a few weeks ahead of his Homecoming world tour and naturally, his brothers are excited to have their big bro home. Paddy’s current mania is basketball and I haven’t the heart to explain to him that this is not a sport for the Holland stature. And Tom doesn't help matters by deciding to buy Paddy his own basketball hoop for the garden. My garden!
Back from the shops, they lug the monstrosity through the house, excitedly tearing open boxes as they go, with me behind on cardboard to the dump duty because apparently recycling is a dad’s job. And as the hoop erects, quietly I sigh. Because whilst it is great to see my kids doing something together and something which doesn't involve 4G or WWW but for how long will they play basketball? Like their Rip-Sticks which clutter up my house and cause me so much pain, their excitement about basketball will wane. Plus the hoop will break of course. I don’t know how - but it will break. Constructions almost completed and I notice an awful lot of the washers and nuts that have been provided are left over. Never a good sign. It’s definitely going to break. The net will go first and then other parts will follow. Just like our table tennis table. It used to open out effortlessly and in to a table of two halves that met seamlessly and complete with net - but no longer.
Not-to-mention that a basketball hoop is too dominant in our confined London garden. And that it will require a continued supply of basketballs which are heavy and loud and aggressive as they smash shrubs and even small trees.
I sigh again at the shear cost of kids. Financially when it’s a screen that they want and emotionally when it’s a basketball hoop - because at some juncture ahead I know that I will be called upon to dismantle this sodding thing and somehow get it to the bloody dump.