“We’re in an ambulance. Don’t freak out. They think Lynden broke his leg.”
My heart sank. My wife’s voice was calm, though, despite our son screaming in the background.
Scared and bummed out, I forced myself to focus on the positive, thinking, ‘At least it’s the end of the season, Lynden will bounce back quickly.’
Nearly four months later, Lynden has not bounced back from his injury.
In fact, he is still limping, favoring his previously broken leg and complaining about pain if he attempts any physical activity. Despite being given full recovery status from his doctor, he is, in my view, at half speed.
My patience with his slow recovery from this injury is waning. My sympathy is quickly turning into disappointment at his lack of grit. I am beginning to wonder if his elongated recovery says as much about me as my son.
Lynden’s cast and walking boot came off June 15. ‘Go time,’ I thought, assuming the two months of inactivity would have him itching to start moving again. We had marching orders from our doctors: a list of rehabilitation exercise to complete daily and no limitations on participation.
Nothing, though, has happened. Lynden seldom does the prescribed rehab exercises. He has completed short jogs only a handful of times over his summer months of freedom. And, no, he has not attempted to kick a ball with his left foot since the day his leg buckled on the pitch that April day.
I have tried everything to get him going – from being supportive to helping devise a workout schedule to, now, demanding that he complete the assigned injury recovery exercises in the morning each day without exception.
I can feel my frustration mounting.
I shouldn’t have to urge him to get off his butt, and get to work, right?
I shouldn’t be the one who watches him limp around while worrying that soccer practice starts in a few weeks.
I shouldn’t have to create a workout schedule that serves as another thing that I will have to manage so it is completed each day.
The simple fact may be that he may not want to come back from his injury as much as I want him to.
Reflecting on the slow pace of Lynden’s return to the soccer field, I am facing a fact that I hadn’t before – I may be experiencing some personal self-worth vicariously through my kids’ activities. After all, many of our friends are connected to our children’s sports. Much of our non-working time is spent attending games, practices or traveling to the pitch. The financial and familial impact of these activities on all of us is all-encompassing.
I may also be taking an ego hit as Lynden’s slow recovery casts doubt on the level (or lack thereof) of perseverance that my wife and I thought we had instilled in him. Our kids need to overcome adversity and, from my view, every limped step Lynden takes tells me that he might need a lesson in toughness.
So, why do I care so much?
After all, if Lynden does not return to the soccer team, I benefit – freeing up the time and money associated with keep him on the field. I guess I care because I know he’s capable. I care because I want my children to be active. I believe that team sports are an excellent way to help our kids deal with diverse groups of people socially. And, somewhere deep maybe I care because all the efforts over the years feels for naught if this is the end of the road.
My own self-interest is involved, and it should not be. After all, none of this ordeal – not the broken leg or Lynden’s slow return from it – has anything to do with me.
From this point on, I have decided that I’m done being frustrated. Everything will work out in due time.
I’m done trying to over zealously attempt to cultivate passions for my kids. I’ll provide the paths; it is their choice to continue or not.
It has been a slow process for me to learn these lessons. Not, though, as labored, limped, and lethargic as my son’s comeback (or not) to the soccer field.