I was driving in the car telling myself not to throw up….
It all started with a half sheet of paper. Memmy brought home a sheet to sign up for Optimist Wrestling. Bummer. This is a sports minded community. Little boys are expected to begin every sport as soon as they can and bounce/roll/jump from sport to sport to sport. Memmy was fired up about wrestling. I wasn’t so excited. Wrestling is nail-biting for a momma, and a big commitment. Wrestling is 3 nights a week. Thankfully it’s a short season, about 5 weeks.
Keep in mind that Memmy has an “upspinsiv-head.” I was a little nervous to send my littlest baby out to the wrestling mat, even if the neuro surgeon said “no restrictions.” I tried a distraction. “You can only do one sport at a time. If you wrestle you can’t play soccer.” Lesson number one: Don’t offer a choice if you aren’t prepared for every given option. “I hate soccer now. I want to wrestle.” After a few deep breaths, consultation with Darling Husband, some texts to mom-friends, a text to my wrestling-coach brother-in-law and plenty of prayer, I caved. I caved. I let him sign up for wrestling. How rough on an upspinsiv-head can 6 year old wrestling moves be?
He loved practice! Every time. He was super excited for his first match. Me, notsomuch, a little nervous.
The first match came and went. They danced around. He had fun. He lost 2 to 1. He wasn’t too fazed.
The second match came and lasted forever. The points went back and forth. The other kid managed to keep an arm around Memmy’s neck. The young ref didn’t call it. The look on Mem’s face as he struggled broke my heart. That’s the look that kept coming back to me in the car. I wanted to throw up. I could throw up now.
Okay, remember my perspective. I was watching someone move my baby around by his upspinsiv head. I know that he is more sensitive to feeling like things are choking him that, in fact, are not. Perhaps this ref was adequate. Right, wrong or otherwise, Mem and I both felt that he was being choked. He ended up losing 8-6. When the ref raised the other kid’s hand his face fell. All that and he still lost. And that kid broke the rules.
Lesson Number 2: Sometimes rule-breakers still win. Bummer. Mem made it to his coach before he started to cry. He coughed and coughed. I gave him a drink, wiped his tears and helped him change his shoes. Dad promised him McDonald’s. He was consoled. I sent the boys off to McDonald’s while I drove off to pick up Sissy. I was thankful for the time alone in the car as I battled the need to puke.
Lesson Number 3: I thought I was okay with both options given (see Lesson Number 1) but I was wrong. Sometimes Mommas are wrong. Sometimes they think it will be okay when it isn’t.
Lesson Number 4: Sometimes it isn’t okay before it can be okay again. Memmy and I discussed the next week’s match. He accepted that referees are people too. Sometimes they don’t see things the same way we do. We have to trust that they are doing their best. We came up with a strategy to keep him from feeling like he is being choked again. He was ready to ask his coach to teach him some new “anti-choking” moves. He was excited to go to practice. He was prepared to protect his upspinsiv head. I was a little closer to being prepared to let him.
Lesson Number 5: It is hard to be a Momma.
Lesson Number 6: Time heals.
He went to practice. He had fun! He was nervous about the next match. I almost found an excuse to miss the next match. In the end, we both struggled through. He fought HARD. He won! I was proud.
Turns out, we both wrestled with some life lessons this week. He learned to persevere. I learned to be patient. (And I didn’t throw up!)