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
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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.

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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.

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Why Parent Drove 5 Hours for 24 Minutes of Play

December 13, 2010 at 9:01 am | Posted in Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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SO yesterday was one of those days as a sport parent that really was awful.  I had to drive from my house in pouring snow or snowing rain for THREE HOURS!!! To end up being late for my ten year old daughter’s ice hockey game.  She played two out of three periods.  Then I had to drive back in plain old pouring rain, only two hours this time.  And my daughter’s team lost- again.  By just one point.  Heart breaker for sure.

But the thing is, I was so into getting her there and so was she.  She got herself completely dressed- including skates tied up- while staying in her seatbelt as we drove.  No small feat when we’re talking hockey equipment!  And a dad ran out in the pouring rain to carry her in so she could get in the game ASAP!

Did she ever play her heart out!  The whole team was doing the same! We had two kids who had been sick all week- the goalie being one of them.  But they put aside all of that, gathered their soul energy and dug just a little deeper to really be their best.

We had back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday with the two toughest teams in the league.  And we haven’t been a very hot team this year.  But these two games every player moved up, grabbed at their highest levels of play and it really showed.

Both games were very similar- We held them off for the first period. Second period there was some scoring by both teams.  And third period the other team got the winning goal.

So do you wonder why I spent my day racing around in horrible driving conditions? It’s really simple.  When I see my kids and their friends put that “WOW POWER” into what they do I know it’s a good thing.

There is something that is intrinsically and deeply wonderful for kids to have the chance to get totally into a sport.  There is the integration of the physical and cognitive for sure-  That means body and brain working together.

And while that is all good, there is something deeper. This gets to the kids real deep soul/spirit.  When your kids have the chance to go to their deepest and best, they know they are truly valuable.  There is no question about them feeling good about their efforts, their energy, themselves.  They know.

This team came off that ice thrilled with themselves.  Of course they were disappointed to have lost once again, but they knew they had played their own personal best.  And I think they were able to actually understand what they as a team and what they as individuals had done to play so well and to know their mistakes.  They held their own and weren’t slaughtered.

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