I have 3 individually amazing kiddos. Recently we have come across a scenario that I wanted to share because being a parent is not easy- duh, like you've never heard that before. Even though every parent and every child is different- that's why they don't give you a "how to" book when you leave the hospital- I think as parents we all go through the same types of situations, but obviously more individualized. So this scenario is about validation- the action of checking or proving the truth associated with something, such as a statement.
A little back story: in the spring of this year, my 13 year old ran track with his school- a valid statement must be made here- we lived on base in ND, which was 23 miles from the nearest "city", which still was not a big "city". The base provided schools that were affiliated with that city, we were thankful for this. But the school system was by far the worst we have experienced so far in our military life- we won't go into the details, because it's irrelevant. So he played football in the fall and ran track in the spring. At one of his track meets he suffered an injury. While running he felt a "pop" in his upper leg and instantly felt pain in the area. The "trainer" assessed the situation and said it was probably a "pulled"/strained muscle. So we iced it and home remedied it. The area gave him discomfort for several weeks, which we felt was completely normal in comparison to our sports injury experiences. The area eventually started feeling better to him as time went on and as time continued to pass, he eventually felt no discomfort. Fast forward to present day…
Football was beginning in Florida and we were excited he was going to get back to playing in the south- some legit football compared to the programs he played for on ND. He attended his first practice and knew right away he was going to have to fight for a "spot" on the lineup. These athletes and their couches were very serious about football and they displayed it with their skills. Honest parent here- not the parent that says my kid is the best- my son looked horrible. He looked like, as my hubby said it, an elephant running- his arms were flopping around and he wasn't standing up straight- plus he was being a pansy. I was embarrassed- again, honest parent here. I was embarrassed for me, I was embarrassed for him. That evening we talked about his performance, he stated his leg was hurting- sure it was, good excuse- we iced it and talked to him about him being out of shape from the summer and he needs to make sure to really stretch to prevent injuries, but soreness was normal. Discussed whether he really wanted to play and if not he needed to say something. Practice day 2- looked a little better, getting back in the swing of things and making friends- he tells us it's more enjoyable and he hurts but not too bad. Practice Day 3- looks a lot better, putting more effort into his actions and talking more with his teammates. Practice day 4- he doesn't want to go, stating his leg really hurt and he just didn't want to go- ironically a storm was occurring so we figured practice would be cancelled anyway- so he didn't go. Weekend arrives- we buy more equipment to get him ready for the next week. Monday, practice day 5- he absolutely refuses to go. We talk about it- try to convince him it will get better, he will make friends, he will learn the plays, it doesn't matter if he's not a "starter", he can not just quit his team- still refuses. Fine! -we tried to convince him, but that's long and drawn out. Talked to his coach- and we're done. Emotions- disappointed.
Annual physical- I tell his doctor that he's been complaining of his upper leg/hip area bothering him. Talk about when it first came about and fast forward to present day. Tell the doctor he feels a "bump", but I can't. Doctor examines- there is definitely a bump under there- way to go mom! Doctor measures it, feels around, moves him around- concern, wait what?! He wants to do a full work up on him. Doesn't think it's a bone or a gland- but definitely a growth. Wants to start with an X-ray and blood work, but is certain the x-ray won't tell us anything, but has to start there to then order an ultrasound. Sick stomach… what kind of mother am I?! Fear…. I've worked in the medical field for 11 years, I know what that work up is for. Gone for his X-ray…. wow mom, you didn't believe your own son?!
8:20pm doctor calls to discuss findings– its late at night, this can't be good! Sweat forms, stomach wants to vomit. It's not what he expected, which is good, but it is a serious injury- he has a chipped bone fragment that has calcified and torn muscle- ok we can handle that, but holy crap, wow! He's actually surprised my son was not in more pain or limping with how bad the area is. Next steps- MRI to evaluate the just how bad we are talking about and Orthopedic consult.
So… all that to discuss validation… as parents we want to trust our kids, we want to believe everything that comes out of their little mouths. But sometimes it's hard deciphering. Have I absolutely ruined his trust in me that I trust him? Where is that book?! I know i am not the only parent that has or is experiencing this… where is that book that told me how to do this?!
Now- self reflection… learn and move forward…