Mater bought a football for her little dog, Dandy.
By all accounts, he loves the thing: in the kitchen and all about the house he rolls on it, barks at it, kicks and chases and hides and licks it.
Mater is certain that he has the makings of a professional footballer, and she says she's determined to see the dream through to the end with an extensive training and practice regime.
I mentioned about the days in which my brother was himself obsessed with the game of football, and how he wanted to show Mater every new move he made, every trick and fancy skill.
He'd shout to her from the back field so she'd drop what she was doing and come trotting, saucepan or scrubbing brush in hand, but he would never be able to perform the maneuver again; that is, until Mater had either returned to the house or turned her back for the briefest of moments.
"I did give him plenty of encouragement," Mater reminisced to me on this day. "I always watched him when he asked me to, when I could, and it was the fault of neither of us that I didn't get to look at the great things he could do, the way I get to see Dandy's swift paw in action."
I said to her, "but think about this: did you ever let Brother play football in the kitchen while you cooked?"
"No," she said, pondering honestly. "I didn't."
"There you go, then. If you'd let him play indoors beside you, you'd never have missed anything at all."
Sure, maybe the football would have gone astray in the kitchen from time to time, and there'd likely have been a rich, leathery aftertaste to the casseroles, but Mater would have been on hand to witness every single unique star moment up until Brother decided he didn't want to play football anymore, that he was going to be a rock and blues musician.
Then, of course, he'd have been obliged to bring the drum kit and guitars and microphones, and other paraphernalia that his music studio is currently brimming with, into the tiny kitchen corner; and really, who among us knows what that combination would have tasted like, especially with Dandy using that patch as a training ground for his own particular brand of stardom.