Parenting requires hundreds of daily decisions that ultimately affect our children’s future, and shape who they turn out to be –no pressure, right! Seriously, every decision we make, how we chose to react, whether we choose to listen; even choices we make on their behalf, have a consequence, negative or positive.
As the parent we can truly shape the outcome towards a positive, if we take a moment to think about the best result before we react or make a choice. I learned this truth a few weeks ago as another episode in my daily sitcom unfolded.
Just before I was about to leave work to begin the madness that consume our house each night during soccer season, I received a call from my nanny, “Your daughter hurt her leg at school and does not think she can play in her game tonight.”
Instant panic! This child never misses soccer for anything; she plays in the backyard, at recess and will even attend her younger sister’s practice to get more playing time. She would miss a family member’s wedding if she had a soccer game that conflicted. I knew it must be bad.
I arrived home and rushed in to assess the situation. Her face was swollen from crying and she would not let me touch her leg; which she could not fully straighten. Trying to understand what happened she said she had drop kicked the ball while she was playing soccer at recess. Her best friend, who is always at our house, gave me a better description of what took place. From those two accounts, I thought she either hyper extended her knee or had ligament damage.
I made the decision that she need to be taken to the Urgent Care. Upon my arrival I was the spectacle of the waiting room. Wearing my business clothes and high heels, clicking with every step as I carried my nine-year-old daughter across the lobby and she winched in pain with every movement. As the nurse brought us back and I set her on the table, I stroked her hair wishing I could take the pain away and fought back my own tears.
In the exam room she screamed and begged the doctor not to straighten her leg. After the doctor did a thorough analysis, she pulled me aside and we had a whispered conversation in the corner, where we discussed my daughter’s pain tolerance and then she told me her diagnosis – a Charlie horse.
My instant reaction had to be contained, so I took a moment and thought how best to react, then told the doctor to follow my lead. The doctor and I turned around to see my daughter staring at us with those sincere eyes. I kept a serious face and informed her that she kicked the ball so hard that she tied her calf muscle in a knot. The doctor instantly jumped in and gave her the medical remedy to make it better. ( I thought I have got to toughen this girl up or she will need to adopt her children, and I can’t believe I just took my daughter to the ER for a muscle spasm.)
So that night as I rubbed the knot out of her calf and looked over and see my two-year-old covered in chocolate with a half-eaten box of Whoppers in front of him, and later as my son ran around the house coming down from his sugar high and my other daughter informed me she felt sick to her stomach and subsequently threw up, I made another decision – I laughed.