Ima Need Mo’ Medication (and a Nice Stiff Drink)

Changes are heading my way and I’m so not ready! I decided after our party to give up alcohol – at least temporarily – to see if my weight will drop again. However, given recent developments in my kids’ lives, I may have to reconsider. Because I know my medication isn’t going to cover the nerve blitzkrieg disturbance headed my way.

Owen, my one and only son, my first-born, the baby boy who melted in my arms and let me smother him in kisses for the first 5 years of his life, the little man who built Lego sets with the precision of an engineer, who has spent countless hours immersed in video games and vehemently swore off sports after his last soccer season in the 1st grade – decided this spring to try out for football. What. The. F*#&.?!?!

I said to him, c’mon, let’s go for a walk and talk about this. And we did. We walked to the end of our cul d’ sac and circled back, while I presented him with my reservations. I’m a mom, I said. And you worry about me, he said. Yes, I said, and you know there’s a very real possibility of you getting hurt out there. You mean concussions, he said.  And broken bones, I said. I then recounted the tale of a friend who shattered his wrist in a game back in high school. It had a profound effect on me, for more reasons than I care to elaborate on here, but suffice it to say it awakened the reality of our human fragility in my invincible teenaged self.

You’re worried I’m going to get hurt, he said. You could, I said. And then there’s the issue of the heat exhaustion, which NFL players have died from, I said. He was nonplussed. Typical invincible teenaged attitude.  I’m a mom, I said. I’m a mom first. And I don’t want to stop you from doing something you really want, and I admire that you want to try this.  And I’m not going to stop you.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to like it, but I support you. I just need you to hear what my worries are. He nodded solemnly. What I really wanted to do was go all Marie Barone on him and tell him to go ahead, you go play your football and don’t think about how you’re killing me. But, I’m not that kind of mother.

Still, I take a deep breath each day I drop him off at practice. And again today, as he began his first of five days of state-mandated heat acclimatization training. I drove away looking skyward and remembered to praise Him, the Creator of all things, for this beautiful boy who transformed my life nearly 15 years ago.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the crib, is child #2. She’s a born athlete. She’s built like me, but she is tougher than I ever tried to be. But this little 10-going-on-14 girl has decided to go the way her momma did – and turned cheerleader on me. It’s all good. I won’t say I didn’t want to see her engage in more aggressive sports, because I think she’s tough as shit, but it’s kinda cute that she decided to show off her prowess as a cheerleader (“which IS a sport too,  you know”).

Until today. Today when I picked her up from practice she announced that she’s going to be a flyer. Oh lord Jesus help me. You know, those flyers who get flipped up in the air and stand on their teammates’ hands. And then they spin around and fall down into the waiting arms of 4 or 5 other 10-year-olds who hardly seem qualified to “cradle” my precious offspring. The coach asked me today if I was okay with it, and I looked at my offspring and asked, are you okay with it?  And she is.
So, Ima need more medication.  And a flask filled with Don Julio. Or vodka. Or wine. I’m not picky.

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