Friday, July 01, 2011
Because warriors never quit
And she dove into the role with gusto, making save after save through much of the first half, ruling her area with a confidence that defied the fact that this is her first-ever year playing soccer. My wife and watched from the sidelines with a curious mixture of pride and fear. Our tough little girl was taking names on the field, but my wife counted the minutes until the shift was over, worried she'd get hurt.
Turns out my wife is prescient. In what seemed like no time at all, an all-hands rush on the goal ended with our daughter lying motionless on the grass, her teammates gathering around her in silence, her coaches running from the sidelines.
I broke parent-spectator protocol and dashed onto the field. Someone had accidentally trampled her hand. The swelling was already visible, and she couldn't move her index finger. After conferring with her coaches, who got ice on her in record time and managed the moment like the kind-hearted masters they are, we decided a trip to the ER was in order, just to make sure.
Long story short, she didn't break anything, but she did hyperextend the finger, which caused the cartilage to displace a bit. To help it heal, she'll be in a 45-degree splint for the next two weeks. Typically Dahlia, she was a trooper, cracking jokes and charming every doctor and nurse as we moved from stage to stage through the hospital. Her doctor heartily laughed as she confirmed her strategy to milk this thing for all it's worth with her two brothers.
This being 2011, I tweeted from my BlackBerry, which auto-updated my Facebook status. My wife texted to friends and family. Later, Dahlia's Facebook page filled with the sweetest messages from her team mates and coaches, everyone hoping she's ok, everyone wanting her to come back and assume her position in goal, everyone missing her already.
No parent ever wants his/her child to experience pain or uncertainty, but virtually the only certainty in parenthood is that these kinds of things will happen from time to time. And we've always taught our kids to find the silver lining in whatever challenges life throws at them. Dog gets sick? Hug him closer and more often to squeeze more love out of whatever time we've got with him. Get hurt on the field? Use it as an opportunity to make good friends even better ones, and to spend an adventurous night in the hospital with your parents. You can't control what happens to you, but you sure can control how you respond to it. We've always known that she gets it. Last night confirmed it that much more.
She's already informed us she intends to get back into goal as soon as her finger heals. And she'll be at practice next week, too, because she loves the game and loves playing it with her team mates.
As I watched our daughter shake off the stress of last night like a duck would shed a bit of water, I realized she has whatever she needs to handle whatever stuff - soccer or other - that life decides to toss her way in the years to come. I want to be more like her when I grow up.
Your turn: Got any thoughts or words for Dahlia?
One more thing: This experience easily qualifies in the "rough" category, which coincidentally happens to be this week's Thematic theme. To share your own, please click here.