Friday, September 21, 2007

"What if I get hurt?"

I wrote this the other night during my son's last practice before his first game:

"So, tonight was the last practice before Ike's first football game. During practice, his team was doing a mini-scrimmage. In the process Ike was tackled...hard. He layed on the ground as the other players shook themselves off and prepared for their next go-around. Coach ran over to him. I assumed he was complaining about his arm. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw a very exaggerated attempt to lift the arm and then he let it fall limply at his side. (which told me it wasn't broken. It hitting the ground would have made him scream :)) He managed, somehow, to get to his feet to sit on the sidelines. After a couple of plays I asw an incredible coach attempt to get a high-five out of him - using the injured arm. Great effort, but it lost its desired effect. I met them halfway when I saw them come to me. I laughed lightly - though I admit it was difficult to watch my baby boy get taken down. I worked my sympathetic mommy magic and managed to get him back on the field. I neglected to mention that his nose had been bleeding...that would have sealed the deal - no more football tonight :) However, when I told him to head back on the field, he looked at me with big hazel eyes and asked "What if I get hurt again?" How do you answer that? I decided that empty reassurance was not the way to go. I simply told him that he probably would - that was just a part of the game. He has the pads and helmet to protect the important things. So, after he had me wipe the sweat off his face and off the pads inside the helmet, he went back out there, bloody nose and all. He endured a few more hard tackles, one where he left the ground entirely, and took them like a champ."

Last night I watched him play his first football game. He only got to play once, but when he heard they had won, you would have thought he had made all the touchdowns himself. He screamed "WE WON!" then grabbed his sissy and "told" her as well. He told me that he is a real football player now...and I told him how incredibly proud of him I am :).