The footy guy nights

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Most evenings, sitting in the front room, I end up looking at the floor. And think about LB. And spaces. Wow. He did a number on spaces. Occupying different spaces within our space. Like sleeping on the Billy bookcase as a tot. Or hanging out in the swing bin. Now that sort of space isn’t occupied it’s odd/hard to remember it ever was. Who lies on their side on the living room floor? Across years…

Back in the day, the footy guy nights were a pretty unremarked upon part of family life. Like so much other stuff. Absorbed into our ‘normal’.

old picsI look at the floor and wonder how he fitted. With Chunky Stan, and the Playmobile audience. It’s a tiny space really.

There was no guessing when the box of ‘footy guys’, goal and makeshift ball would appear. In a seamless and low key celebratory joining in of a mainstream footy event. In his own way. How the hell did he fit in that tiny space?

He sort of studiously ignored the match on TV. Applying sometimes silent, focused concentration on his match. Remarkable really as footy fell outside his typical interests. At the same time, he was fully engaged in the moment. Some of the real time match entered his commentary but his match had its own dynamic. And own moments. LB was no slave to premier antics. old pics (3)

I loved these footy guy nights. I loved his absorption in the match, played out with a ball made of scrunched up paper and Sellotape (made after the original tiny ball went missing). I also loved (without realising it at the time), how everyone fitted around him. Picking across the guys to sit down. Respecting his engagement.

LB kept his footy guys in a Spongebob box. The goal and ball were stored in an old CCTV camera box. Which doubled as the second goal. Everything carefully packed and stored in his room until the next time.

I photographed this one evening. I don’t know why. Or why that night. January 29 2011. He was 16. Capturing a school boy. Absorbed in doing something he loved.

As he should be.

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7 thoughts on “The footy guy nights

  1. That’s one of those things you read that make you go ‘phew!’ – Also made me think of my son’s favourite spaces – one of which was climbing inside the fridge. Fortunately he’s grown out of that now but not before he’d broken it !

  2. really beautiful photographs , I love to remember the strange ‘twister’ actions we adopted to enter/exit the main living space come bedroom. Hurdling the corner of the sofa to get to the bathroom because the wheelchair could only be accommodated at a certain angle and in one place. The picking round and reaching over that were second nature.Precious family memories in a few square feet.Something lovely to hold on to.

  3. That must be so painful Sarah God bless you and give you courage to keep going.
    My son Stephen did all of those things. I too sometimes sit there and remember only to well those episodes, him on his side lying cars and trains in one line.

    So sorry for your pain and loss Sarah.

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