Sunday, October 18, 2009

Survivor's Guilt?

If you've got kids, there has been at least one instance, one moment in time, when you've had the thought Thank God that wasn't my kid. Be honest; you know you've thought it at least once. If your child plays a contact sport, you've thought it more times than you ever want to admit.

Thursday night's football game was a good one. My kid scored the first touchdown of the game, and our team won. And yet those stats aren't going to be how the game is remembered by most. See, Thursday's game was also an extremely hard played game. Football, by it's very nature, demands extremely hard play. Injuries, while not eagerly anticipated, are not unexpected either. Thursday's game had two; one from each team. Two instances where a player went down, and the trainer went out. Two instances that would cause the clock to stop for however long it took to assess the injury and get the player off the field. Two teams who went down on one knee, showing respect to their fellow athlete. Two players who had mothers in the stand, hands clenched together, chanting under their breath Please let him be okay; Please let him be okay.

One of those mothers, after five minutes, was able to breathe a bit easier. Her son was able to walk off the field; he just had to remove his pads-which he did on his own, albeit with some difficulty-and have his shoulder wrapped in ice for the remainder of the half. She was able to remain in her seat and watch the rest of the game.

The other mother, after five minutes, was called down to the field; where she sat with her son as he lay face down on that field. That mother had to sit there with her boy for another 25 minutes waiting for the ambulance; watching as the first arriving paramedics cut off his pads. She got to follow that ambulance to the nearest hospital; fervently praying the entire way that he would be okay, I imagine.

I have never been more proud of a group of boys, both boys I know and boys I probably never will, than I was on Thursday. To watch the opposing team drop their helmets and all move closer to their teammate, going down to one knee while they waited to see if he would move at all; watching our team, as a whole, down on one knee in a show of respect to a fellow athlete; was so heartbreakingly moving. When the first boy walked off the field, both teams and parents in both stands applauded. When the second boy was rolled off the field on the stretcher, both teams applauded and parents in both stands gave him a standing ovation. Small comfort for his mother, I'm sure.

As I sit here writing this post, its Sunday night. It's been three days since that game, and our school has no more information about that boy now than we did that night. Which might be part of why I am still feeling so anxious for that boy, and still somewhat hovering over mine. Feeling guilty for being grateful.

You see, it was my son that was able to walk off that field on Thursday night while hers couldn't.


I Am Boymom said...

Watching my sons get hurt is one of my greatest fears when my husband encourages them to play football. It's also one of my greatest fears when my son tells me he wants to be a military man. So glad Jock is okay.

Crazymamaof6 said...

stinking make me cry! that is horrifying and so hard. holy crud. very moving post. i knew one of them was yours since i saw he got the all clear to play again last night but SHEESH!

great post. and awesome picture. glad he was OK.