As I crawled into my bed last night (far later than usual, as I had to wait up for MC to come home-it's just beginning y'all....I anticipate many future blogs will be written as I wait for him to come home *sob*) I flipped on the television to listen to the news as I drifted off (what? It's the way I get most of my news - by osmosis).
And what do I hear? A local high school boy had his neck broken while at football practice.
This, in and of itself, is horrific enough. But add to that the realization that today was Man-Child's first game of the season; a scrimmage (technically not a "real" game, but close enough). This is NOT what a football mom needs/wants to hear right before the beginning of the season.
Football moms are a strange breed as it is; they are the first ones on the sidelines screaming, "Take that kid DOWN!" all while cringing inside for every kid that is tackled on the field. Football moms are the ones who say a prayer before every practice, scrimmage or game that no one gets seriously injured, particularly their child.
And now, THE season is here. Tonight is the first scrimmage (we aren't there as it's 2 1/2 hours away - thanks Coach. Like any working parent could make that! Where is my sarcastic font? And yeah, football moms are also extremely superstitious, if "we" are "there" then nothing bad can happen, right?) and next Friday is THE official start of the season (make a note - you won't be seeing me online on Friday evenings for the next few months...).
Generally, I'm not into football AT all. Unless my son is on the team - then you can bet I'm the rowdiest fan in the stands - even if I'm not really sure about what is going on (yup, that would be me - the one constantly pestering her husband, "so, what happens next?" Eventually, he gets up and walks away for the remainder of the game, which may explain why no one realizes that we are actually married). So you probably won't see a lot of posts regarding football (I know, you are all breathing a great sigh of relief) but you may see a few random tweets of the "GO TEAM!" nature.
But hearing this story and then reading about it this morning, well... it made me re-visit all the reservations I ever had about my son playing football.
Because although it was a "freak" accident and it is "rare" that these events ever occur, the thing is - these things DO happen on the field and you know what? That is MY kid on that field. Every day. And has been since the beginning of June!
I swore my son would never play football. It was too dangerous. But you know what? This kid lives and breathes football (and seriously? How could he not, since his father put a Lawrence Taylor poster above his crib before he was even born). Before he even learned the capitals to all the states (a requirement in the 5th grade here) he could spout off stats that would amaze you. Granted, I had no idea what he was talking about (and still don't) but still.....it was seriously impressive. We'd have to go over his spelling words time and time and time again. But he'd read the sports section and *poof* had it memorized - even his father (the serious football-fanatic that he is) was impressed.
At one point in time, as a little guy, he idolized Ricky Williams (please don't ask me, I don't know). One day, I informed him he was going for a haircut and he asked me if he could get his hair cut like Ricky Williams. When I asked what Ricky's hair looked like he showed me a picture. Biting my lip, trying not to laugh, I told him that I didn't think his hair would ever look like Ricky Williams'. At the time, my sweet little guy had the extremely baby fine, stick straight, blonde hair of a five year old Italian-American/Irish-mix kid. Ricky Williams had dredlocks....I really didn't see it happening for my little guy.
(as an aside - he no longer idolizes Ricky Williams. Am not sure why - I think it may have something to with drugs - again, don't ask me, I'm still not really sure who Ricky Williams is/was and why MC even liked him in the first place.)
Anyway, back to what started this post off.....
The rising junior will, according to all reports, be okay. He will walk again and he will most likely be able to go on and play baseball (another sport that he apparently loves) and live a normal life - but he will never be able to play football again - and if he's anything like my son, he had to have been crushed by this news, while at the same time thankful.
But his mom? I can bet his mom is offering up prayers of thanksgiving tonight because it could have been so, so, so much worse.
And you know what? As I sit here waiting (again) for my son to come home - I'm sending up a few prayers of my own.