A few years ago, my son’s cardiologist told us that he would never be allowed to play contact sports. I had grown accustomed to imagining my boy as the next Tiger Woods (and me being a very rich Mommy), so I was surprised at his last heart check-up when the doctor cleared him to play soccer.
Now, let’s get something straight…I have one tough boy. This kid has had more needles in his veins in six years than most people have their whole lives. But, apparently the hospital is one thing and the soccer field is something else entirely.
At practice last night, after 50 minutes of drills, my kid hit a wall. The first time he complained was when he was playing defense in a scrimmage. He stopped in his tracks and yelled, “Mom! I’m tired.”
I yelled back from the sidelines, “You’re okay! You can hang in there for 10 more minutes!”
Then the second complaint, “Mom! My tummy hurts!”
Again I said, “Come on, buddy! You can do it! Just five more minutes!”
And, he was hanging in there just like I told him to…until, with just two minutes left in the practice, he took a hard-kicked ball right in the ear.
He burst into tears and ran off the field to me. I checked him out, then said, “I know you’re tired, but your ear looks okay. You can do this! When you’re playing on a team, you have to be there for your teammates. They need you. Now get back in there and show them what a big, strong, tough kid you are!”
When it didn’t appear that would convince him…I whispered something in his ear.
He then trotted back to the field for some inspirational words from the coach and one final huddle. They ended the practice by having the team put their hands together as they chanted, “One. Two. Three. TIGERS!”
Then my big, strong, tough boy ran off the field yelling what I thought would stay a secret, “Okay, Mom! Let’s go home so I can get my bubble bath!”