How do you deal with a teenage daughter who has been invited to the X-Games but can’t go because of a torn ACL?

January 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Posted in ACL recovery, Moms of talented teens, Mothers, Self Esteem, sports, teenagers | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So my daughter was cruising along the path of success.  She qualified for and was invited to international events.  And she podiumed pretty much at all her stops.  With her greatest gold being the Junior World Championships last August.

This fall she was invited to the Dew Tour- a first ever for the ladies in her sport.  What a cool thing to be able to do!  Only her knee got in the way.  It had started to tear in the summer and decided to complete the tear on Dec 17, while in a one-day competition.  Dec 18 was the Dew tour comp.

She had to come home.  As she was coming home from Colorado to New Hampshire, she and I independently realized that if she were to stay at home- even with the most awesome of all home school projects that we could think of- she would go crazy and I would go more crazy trying to keep her from going crazy.  It would be an utter disaster.

We knew not only would she need rehab and to utilize her brain, she would desperately need to get out of the house for a purpose with a time commitment every day.

Luckily for us Plymouth State University is just down the road.

On Monday Dec 20, before even going to see the Doctor, we headed to Plymouth.  We were able to rather easily enroll her in the Frost School with classes beginning Jan. 3.  One class was in person five days a week, the other online.  Whew, that would take care of brain stimulation and having to get out of the house everyday in January.

Tuesday Dec 22 we headed over to Dartmouth-Hitchcock to see Dr. Carr, get the MRI done, and start prehab physical therapy with Steve Vincente.

The call came the next day with the results slightly worse than predicted.  Her ACL was torn and there was some meniscus tear as well.  Neither of us was prepared for that part.

We were able to get through all the Christmas festivities with joy and laughter.  Prehab was off to a great start- the swelling going way down and the range of motion going way up.

On Dec 31, she received her invite to the X Games.  Needless to say, we were all stunned by the bittersweet accomplishment.  She cried- no she sobbed.  Everyone we have told has had the same reaction- An initial total wow that slides into OMG she can’t go realization.

Strange, but it really helps to have that reaction.  To know that even for our friends this is really a terrible blow.

So we seemed to be on the right road to physical and mental health.

BUT

There is another aspect of being the mom of an injured-healing athlete.  That is the range of emotions going on in her- from confidence to panic to depression to loss of sense of self to giddy relief.  These happen in minutes of each other.

Knowing that all these reactions are all normal should help, but even for me I’m having a real hard time with the cross part.  It might be easier if my daughter were a cross person by nature, but luckily for her, she is about as happy and upbeat as they come.  This cross thing is really alien to her.  And to me!

So what did I do?  I got cross back.  I know I “Should” have been understanding, encouraging her to let out her feelings, helping her to get past this.  But guess what?  She was expressing her “cross” at me.  And I’m really just an emotional mama like any other mama; only I’m supposed to know better.

Of course we did a have “nice” talk with all apologies given and accepted.  And I do think it was from our hearts.

But still there was this lingering in me.

Well, what could I do?  I called my sister to let my anger out.  Then Steve, the physical therapist, called.  And just happened to want to be sure that not only was my daughter doing fine with her workouts and emotionally as well, BUT that I was OK too. He talked with me and told me everything I knew.

I’m the one and only person she will feel close enough to be cross with.  I’m the one and only person she will really cry with.  She’ll be great with her doctor, with her nurses, with her PT, with her coaches, with everyone else.  EXCEPT me.  I’m the one and only person she trusts more than anybody else.  All her emotions are her gift of love to me.  There is no getting around it.  It’s tough.  But its worth being loved that much.

And I’m lucky to be able to love her back just as much.  Yep, it’s tough.  She’s tough as nails.  You don’t’ be come a world champion at anything unless you are. And to be her mom I have to be soft as a feather pillow for her and at the same time the board she needs to hammer her nails into right now.

*******************************************

I guess the in next few months articles will be interspersed with how we get on with her recovery, as well as what is happening with my other daughters. And some just-life-in-general ideas and thoughts from a mom whose daughters are all athletes.

Advertisements

Mom’s Job When Kid Is Named Captain

November 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Posted in moms, Moms of talented teens, peer pressure, Self Esteem, sports | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

She’s the captain of her ice hockey team at ten!  What an honor and accomplishment.  She called all her relatives as soon as she found out.

What about me, her mom?  How do I react to this?  What is my responsibility?  What do I do about her sisters?  None of them were ever captains in any sport.

Of course there’s a bit of history here.  Jilly was invited to play up for the peewee team, not based on skills but more because the team needed a few more players.  I told the coaches of both teams I would decide which team based soley on what I thought was most important for my child.   I would not, under any circumstances, put my daughter on a team just to make it happen.

Of course Jilly was all swaggery when she got the news. She was oh so cool!  She was going to play up.   But the moment I had her alone in the car the first thing I said was, “I alone will make thie decision based on what is best for you.  I’ll listen to your ideas, but you will not make the decision.  I think at ten you’re too young to figure this all out.”

Since we already have a great relationship based on trust and respect she knew I was going to do what was best for her, not what was seem by others as cool or being above others. Cause what they think just doesn’t matter!

It was clear to me that giving Jilly another year as a squirt would give her more time to get basic skills, she loved working with the coaches of squirts, and she could really use a year as being one of the best.  Even if she didn’t have all her sisters with all their accomplishments, it’s so important to have a time when you are the best.  When the others look up to you. When you can help out and be a leader.

So squirts it was.  Until I heard from Jilly that they, the kids, would be picking captains the next week.  Then my head reeled. I’d been through this too many times.  Captains at ten chosen by teammates has had more negative effect than no captains.  My personal opinion is to have captains for each week.  They lead the warm ups for practices and game, shake hands with the refs, lead the pregame cheer, and lead the hand slap at the end of the game.  It’s a learning experience for each kid.

But to be captain for the season- now that’s a true honor and responsibility.  One not to be given hastily or lightly. One that most nine and ten year olds just don’t have the capacity to truly understand.  If there are going to be captains, the coaches need to be very able to choose based on the true value of the player, with complete open minds.

I talked with the coaches.  Explained my personal concern about kids choosing their captains.  And then dropped the bomb. I told the coaches that I couldn’t let Jilly participate if the captains were chosen by the teammates.  They nodded, said, “Hmmm, hadn’t really thought about that.”  Then I never mentioned captains again to the coaches or Jilly.

This past weekend was the third weekend of games.  I could tell the moment I saw the team come out of the locker room that Jilly had been chosen captain.  She had this look of control and determination on her face. She was in charge and going to make it happen!

I was certain when she and another player went over to the refs and shook hands.  And guess what – me who opposed captains- had a SURGE of pride.  That was my little girl who was captain.  And I truly believe she deserved to be chosen captain.

So what is my responsibility?  Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be writing about?  Well my responsibility is to help Jilly understand the honor and responsibility of being chosen captain.  That being captain is partly about being a great player, but more importantly about being a leader. About the team moral and focus.  It’s about good sportsmanship, paying attention to the coaches, guiding the other kids to do their best. When the game is tough and they are loosing it’s about keeping the spirit up and still trying their hardest.

Being captain doesn’t mean to fake energy or excitement.  It doesn’t mean to suck up to the coaches.  It means to have pride, respect, and leadership.  Being a skilled player helps, but it’s not what a captain is all about.  Even Mia Hamm or Kristine Lilly weren’t the captains of the US soccer team.

Why You Haven’t Heard From Me

August 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Moms of talented teens | 1 Comment
Tags: , , ,

It’s been a month since I’ve had the opportunity
to write to you.

And two major things have happened.

The first concerns why I have not been
writing with my usual energy and regularity.

I had twelve squirrels move into my house.
Up all night having the best of parties I am sure!
But kind of a total pain in the neck for me.
Their intrusion lead me to needing a new roof.
Now this alone would not have daunted me
in writing to you,
but just about the time I was
settling on the roof contractor,
the hose to the fridge ice maker
sprang a leak.
It was in my home in CT,
and I was in NH.
My husband found the leak a few days
after it had started.

This tiniest of holes had so much water
that my kitchen, den, and finished basement
all had to be stripped to the bare two by fours.
And the basement, even though finished,
was a true storage basement,
with many of these things ruined by the dampness.

I have spent much of my spare and
lots of my working time
with these two projects.
The roof is done,
the mess is cleaned up.
And now I am starting the process of
getting the kitchen and den redone.

It’s been very exciting,
even if it has been so time consuming.

The other thing is that last spring
I joined a program “Platform Leaders Group”
led by Suzanne Falter-Barns.
This was a combination of platform building,
marketing, and spiritual awakening.
Odd sort of combination I must say.

Anyway, the gist of the program was for members to
develop and rejuvenate our programs.

Gem Parenting is having a transformation.

The new Gem Parenting will focus on
guidance for moms who have talented teen daughters.

(Dads are welcome, it just seems
moms deal with their daughter’s issues
more than dads.)

So what does this mean for you?
Well you can stay on and still read the entries,
I am sure there will be interesting tidbits for you,
or you can join with Susan Epstein-
an excellent general parent coach.

And if you have friends who have
talented teen daughters please forward them
this info and they can join the pearl membership-

http://GEMparenting.com
which will now be dedicated to serving their needs.

It will still take me a month or so to get the
techy stuff done- changing the site.
That just isn’t my cup of tea.

I will start the new entries on Monday-
with guidance, stories, and real life issues of
being a mom with talented teen girls.

In the mean time enjoy the last of summer,
Grace

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.