Soccer season is in full swing at our house. My girls had their first game this past Saturday. I love soccer games. Go Team England and Team Bahamas! I also like the social aspect of it all – sitting on the sidelines and catching up with my friends.
I was sitting next to my friend, Melinda, on Saturday. Her son, Carter, is on my youngest daughter’s team. If there’s a star on the team, it’s Carter.
The game was in full swing when Melinda mentioned that she was reading Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson. She told me that the book advises moms not to rush out on to the field, or court, whenever their sons take a hit. Dr. Dobson says it is more embarrassing than helpful.
Not 15 seconds after she finished her story, Carter took a hit and went down. (Yep, it was rough and tumble soccer for the 4 and 5 year olds!)
Carter didn’t get up. Melinda froze, resisting the urge to run onto the field. I could see in her expression that she was struggling. She wanted to comfort her son, but she remained stoic.
Finally, when Carter’s cries reached painful levels, Melinda ran onto the field, gathered up her son and comforted him.
Whispering words of reassurance, Melinda held Carter until he calmed down, then gently encouraged him to finish the game.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. I got a text from Melinda, “Headed to the ER, Carter can’t move his arm.”
And a few hours later, “It’s broken.”
I called Melinda on Monday evening.
“I feel terrible that I didn’t go to him when he got hurt,” she said. “I just didn’t want to embarrass him.”
I sympathize with her. It wasn’t too long ago that my child had a broken arm. And I had a fair amount of guilt because I wasn’t there when it happened.
Parenting is one of the hardest gigs around, isn’t it?
We want to do what’s best for our kids, but sometimes we don’t know what that is.
In those situations, what else is there to do but pray, take a deep breath, and trust that God will see us through the ups and downs of parenting?
Let’s talk: Have you ever been in a parenting situation where you didn’t know what to do? What did you do? How did the situation turn out?