What About Concussions? (Kids in Sports)

Did you know:

-There are grown men who still harbor resentment because their mothers never let 
them play football 

-Everything carries risk; including driving your children to school

- There is no real easy way to talk to a child about how he or she would feel if they
got hurt playing a sport they love

Concussions are always talked about on the sidelines at practice (and many other places for that matter) and there are many differing opinions. I let my son play, but I still worry a little. In most cases the
conversations don't usually involve him though. I'd like to discuss it with him, but I guess I just haven't 
found a good way to bring it up. 

But, recently...

One of his teammates got hurt, and yes, it was a concussion, and the boy will not be returning for the 
rest of the season.

I've always followed my gut.
My kid loves football and has since I introduced it to him at 2 1/2 yrs. old
He began playing the sport when he was 6 
After 2 years of flag he begged me to let him play full on tackle and so...we entered 'real football'
He (and his entire 60 lb little body) has never complained about being the smallest (or taking heavy hits)
Though I cringe when I see it (or any other boy get hit)...

Am I concerned? ABSOLUTELY, I am. 
Every parent cares for their child and wants them to be safe and healthy.

But, my Jay thrives being a part of a team.
He has passion, enthusiasm, and a love for the sport. 

And who am I to keep him from it?

When we talked about the boy who won't be returning, I found it the perfect moment to casually say,
"You know, I kinda worry about that sometimes too" - He just nodded (I knew it meant he agreed that he thought about it too; how could he not?). 

It was the perfect time to ask:
"So, bud, if you got hurt would you be regretful that you were in football; would you quit playing?". 


(Quick Reply!)

He being a boy (males are known to avoid elaborating unless completely necessary-or asked) 
ME being a female (with a need to get deeper) I prodded, "Really!!! Why?".

"I don't know, I guess because I love to play the sport and I want to play it- and its just..eh…"

I filled in the blanks. 

"Some things we do carry risk- it's just something we are aware could happen right?".

A nod was all I got, and enough to know my Mommy-gut was right.

Isn't life too short to worry? 
Doesn't it feel bad to dwell on stuff we cannot control? 
Isn't it sad when a child grows up to say, 'I couldn't, because my parents worried' 

That is what I've heard over the years from grown men whose mothers would not let them play football for fear that little Johnny would hurt. Those 'little-Johnnys' are still resentful now always asking, 'what if'. 

I am still unhappy about how much I was not allowed to do because my father was fearful.

I won't succumb to it as a parent. My son is out there on the field. And, yes, he could get hurt. 

He could also get hurt under his parents' care; in the car, at school, or at the park. I cannot rightfully keep him from a dream- because of my what-if's…that would just be selfish.

Wanna know a secret???

With so many health issues plaguing kids these days after being on the football field, I'm honestly petrified… 

But this isn't my life… it's his.

**Ironically, when this post was in draft mode...and scheduled to be published-
 my son had an accident at the field. It was a head injury, but a non-sports related one. Not serious at all, but went down as traumatic. He's fine, and back on the field. 

- Yes, I freaked
- Yes, I worried
- Yes, it made him apprehensive to put a helmet on again even though it had nothing to do with football
- Yes, he did fully recover
- No, it did not stop us from returning (because there were no residual health issues)
- YES, I did wonder what we would do if it were worse

I looked at this experience like this:
At least we know what it's like to go through it, and if a true on-the-field injury happens we  know that we are surrounded by people who really care, who know what to do, and that Mommy will be there, even if she isn't right there.

More on my feelings and his when I write about it in another blog.

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