This weekend, my youngest son played the last football game of the regular season. During the game, one of his teammates hurt his ankle. After a couple of plays, during which he was limping around on the field, the coach asked him if he wanted to come out. He said “no.” The coach asked him if he could play. He said “yes.” The team ran a couple more plays and he continued to limp around. Once again, the coach asked him if he wanted to come out. He emphatically said he didn’t. At that point the coach shouted across the field, “THEN STOP LIMPING!!!”
I was a little taken aback but lo and behold, to my surprise, he did. He stopped limping until he got the to sideline later on. I thought about that after the game was over. I thought about the times in life when you just have to suck it up. You might be a little hurt, you might be a little sad, frustrated or angry, you might be a little sick but you have to pull it together for the good of the team, your family, or your co-workers. If you’re going to go out there and be a player you can’t flop around making it obvious you’re a weak link. It’s not fair to yourself or those around you.
Even though my “mom antennae” went up when the coach yelled, I realized he was entirely right to call the boy out. If he was too hurt to play, he could have opted to take himself out. He wasn’t, and he wanted to play, therefore he needed to take a breath and “straighten up.” It was a good lesson for the boy and a good reminder for me too. There is a time and place for all things and when you’re checked in for duty, it isn’t the time to limp around.
Last Friday my youngest son, who is 13, got into the car when I went to pick him up from school and announced that he broke his elbow. He said he was playing with friends and ended up tripping over one of them when they went down in a “chase” type game. He’d flown through the air and landed on his elbow in the gravel.
I took a good look at it, asked him to move it around and then told him it was just a bruise and that it would be fine. He seemed to accept that for a while but that afternoon, now and then, as he was going about his business pretty much as usual, he’d pipe up and say “It’s broken.” I assured him it wasn’t and laughingly told him to rub some dirt on it. He responded that since I’d never broken anything, I wouldn’t know how it feels.
We went to a Ducks Unlimited event that night…an auction to raise money for our wetlands. We ate and socialized. At one point I saw him with my phone researching the WebMD site. He looked at me and affirmed that his elbow was broken because “even WebMD said so. When we got home, I told him we’d go get it checked out in the morning since I wanted to prove my point. He bet me a trip to a local hamburger joint that he was right.
The next morning arrived and off we went. It WAS broken! Not just a little but one of the bones had a nice sized fracture all the way through it from one side to the other. Apparently, according to the doctor, the little knobby part had almost broken off completely. Great!
My son who is very good natured just looked at me and said “You owe me a burger” so off we went. He ate a burger and fries for lunch. I ate crow!