My Pink Ball

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved the beach.

She didn’t go to the beach very often, but every few summers, her parents would pack up their car and take this girl, her two siblings, and grandmother on a road trip to the ocean. They went to Wells Beach in Maine.

This little girl loved jumping the waves, playing in the sand, building castles, and body surfing with her big brother.

Going away was such a treat  as this family didn’t often travel. In fact, the grandmother often paid for these trips as this little girl came from modest means. 

However, on one particular trip, her parents allowed her and each of her siblings to buy a special gift/souvenir from the store. The little girl carefully examined everything in the store, and finally settled on a beautiful pink ball, with white swirls.

She was so proud of this ball, and enjoyed playing with it on the beach. However, she was also very busy building castles, so turned her back on the ball for a few minutes. When she turned back, her beloved ball was gone. No where to be seen. She looked everywhere for it, then her parents told her it must have been taken by the waves, and sailed out to sea. 

The little girl was devastated. She remembers trying to be brave, but being so desperately sad. Her beloved pink ball was gone forever.


Fast forward to several years ago. I arrived home pretty late from a birthday party with a young Zach  (5) and Josh (3.5). Josh was asleep, so I leaned into the car to pick him up to carry him inside, and told Zach to get out of the car on the other side. I forgot that he was holding an orange balloon from the party we had just attended and didn’t remind him to hold on tight. He stepped out of the car, and accidentally let go of the balloon. In a split second, it was gone.

Big tears came. He was crushed.

“It’s just a balloon”, I wanted to say, but then I remembered my beloved pink ball.

I comforted him, and told him the story of my pink ball. I wanted him to know I understood his sadness.

That night, I found some orange construction paper and made a paper balloon (I couldn’t leave the boys alone to go buy real balloons, so this was the next best thing). I wrote a note on it explaining it was to replace his orange balloon.

He loved it.

That night when I went to bed, I found a little present on my bed.

He had made me a pink balloon, with white swirls.

It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

He had been waiting for me to see it on my bed, and when I did, he came and found me. “I knew you were sad about your pink ball, Mommy, so I made you one.”

I knew at that moment, I would never, ever forget THAT moment.

Whenever I go to the ocean, I always tell the kids to look for my missing pink ball! It has become our little joke.

This past week, Zach and Josh went to Maine with their Dad on vacation.

I was seriously jealous they were going – back to the beach of my childhood memories.

My parting words: “Look for my pink ball!”


I got a photo text from Zach while he was in Maine.

Look what he found:

Guess what my gift was from from him when he returned from Maine:


My Pink Ball — 26 Comments

  1. That was so sweet of Zach. It is so true memories are forever. I don’t remember the pink ball, but I will always remember going to Maine with you and our family. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

    Love from Mom

  2. Oh my goodness – what a sweet story and what a treasure!!! This story brought tears to my eyes – you are an incredible Mama teaching your boys life lessons!!!

  3. I am in tears… you are doing a bang up job, mom, raising such a sweet and thoughtful son. I love everything about this post! 🙂

    Well, except that you go to the beach in Maine. Holy Heck! The water is cold in Maine! I can’t believe y’all go in!

    • Thank you for your sweet comment! The water is freezing, I agree! He said it was too! We now head to the Outerbanks in NC for our summer trips…much warmer!

  4. The photo of that pink ball brought me to TEARS. And I love how you handled the situation with your son. Understanding that there are certain things that are not important to us that are VERY important to our children and treating them as such is a game changer. I love this story.

    • Thanks Ilene. So many times I have walked away from a situation and regretted not taking the extra second it would have taken me to be more empathetic and understanding. I’m so glad that on that night long ago, I took that extra moment. I need to do that more.

  5. You had me crying at him making the pink balloon for you. But too funny about the ball on the beach and their gift to you. Beautiful, treasured memories.

    • I certainly cried when I got that pink balloon – I needed that as I was newly divorced and pretty much feeling like a failure. It helped me focus on all the good I still had – especially my boys.

  6. Oh gosh, now I’m dripping tears on the keyboard. I was already choking up at the paper balloon, but he found you the ball. I love that you took the time to relate to him and allow him his sadness. And it brought out this sweetness.

    • I need to remember now that my kids are older especially, to take the time for the things that might seem small to me, but so big them. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. It’s seems to be the gift that keeps on giving! First the paper ball which stayed on my fridge for ages until it finally transferred to my memory box, and now the pink ball, which is in a bowl in the centre of my dining room table – proudly displayed! I love it. And how I love Maine!!

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