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Jenn's Blog: Recovering from Your Child's Sports Injury: AKA "What else do you want me to Power Wash, Hon?!"

10/22/2019, 12:15pm EDT
By Jenn Skinner

As we near the end of October, my family and I are emerging from likely the most challenging fall sports season we have ever endured. There is just no other way to describe it. To be honest, there have been some tests of our resiliency and some soul searching, but it now appears we've come out on the other side okay.

Here's the situation. I don't mean to be dramatic, but you're going to want to brace yourself:

My son - who plays catcher - broke his thumb on a play at the plate in only the second game of the fall baseball season.

I'll give you some time for gasping and clutching your pearls.

What?

Perhaps you were thinking of something more serious? Perhaps a torn ACL? Tommy John surgery? A coaching scandal of some sort? A foul ball taken to the head?

No, just the thumb. The left one, to be exact.

Okay, okay. I do realize that on the spectrum of sports injuries this is not a tragedy. Also, he is but a young freshman, not a Varsity player. In fact, it's not as if we're even in the midst of the actual spring high school season.

It was a very small fracture in his thumb which based on the advice we received on our trips to the pediatrician, the radiologist, and the orthopedist required a brace, not a cast, and a mere three to four week period of rest.

But for a family who has spent its weekends for the past fifteen or so years running around with our hair on fire, shuttling three athletes to different fields, courts, and tournaments, this means a whole new world, friends. We recently sent our 1st and 2nd athletes to colleges out of state. We have one - and only one - child left to drive all over kingdom come.This means that the diagnosis of a broken thumb and four weeks of rest left us with three weekends in a row of previously scheduled baseball tournaments wiped completely off the schedule.

And do you know what was left in those little boxes on our family calendar?

BLANK. WHITE. SPACE.

WHAT ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THREE OPEN WEEKENDS IN A ROW?

Suddenly we were faced with the daunting task of trying to figure out what normal, sane people who do not allow their lives to revolve around their children's athletic pursuits do on Saturdays and Sundays in September and October.

Would we go to a Farmer's Market? Home Depot? A movie? Were we going to watch college football on an actual TV in our house all together as opposed to pulling it up on an Iphone and praying that the wi-fi connection would work? Were we supposed to cook meals IN OUR ACTUAL KITCHEN? ON A SATURDAY?

And even more confusing:

Were we going to have to have conversations that involved topics other than baseball strategy, recapping the game, or what report time was for the next game? Like, were we going to talk to each other about Syria or impeachment or global warming or something? What in the world?

Here's what happened in the first weekend of our hiatus.

My husband borrowed his brother's power washer and pretty much sprayed down every single inch of the outside of our house to include the walk ways, outdoor furniture, the deck, the siding, and the garage doors.

This meant that about every 45 minutes I was called out of the house with:

"HEY HON! COME LOOK! OH MY GOSH! LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE! THIS IS AMAZING! WHAT SHOULD I WASH NEXT?"

This also meant that I had to walk outside and feign absolute delight about every 45 minutes:

I'm pretty sure that the neighbors were locking up their children and their pets.

One Saturday afternoon we decided we could use a gift card that we received over a year ago and go on a date to a brewery that's about an  hour out of town. Normally, we would think, "Who has time for this?"

Well, folks, We did.

And get this. We took our dog with us, too. Even he thought it was weird.

One Saturday I remembered that I had a basil plant that I had managed not to kill and picked some basil to make two jars of homemade pesto. HOMEMADE. What?

My husband and I started binge watching a show and I think one evening we watched three episodes in a row. LIKE IN ONE SITTING.

I reorganized all three boys' closets, in addition to my own, loaded up at least eleventy million bags of old clothing and shoes into my car, and gave them to charity.

I cleaned out my filing cabinet and realized I still had auto repair receipts from 2011 for a car I do not own anymore. Bless my heart.

For the first time in many years, my husband was in town to help with the necktie situation for Homecoming where in the past we had to consult YouTube most of the time because he was usually away at some tournament with one boy or another.

I gave myself a facial a couple of Sunday afternoons and took more than a couple of naps. 

Lastly, we had numerous dinners which did not come in a paper sack with a side of fries.

Goodness gracious, it was bizarre.

In the end, on a serious note, we did learn a lot about how blessed we have been to have had three youth athletes that haven't suffered any serious injuries. Being sidelined is no fun, but it does give your kid time to reflect on how much he wants to keep working on his skills and how much he does or does not love his sport. Furthermore, it gives a husband and wife a heads up as to what is coming for them when it's empty nest time.

Perhaps, a power washing company? Or a basil farm? Who knows. The possibilities are endless.

It's been four weeks and finally our long national nightmare short hiatus is over. Gratefully, our son's thumb has healed nicely and he was able to catch a full game last week for the first time.

In other words, WE ARE BACK. I'm rested, stretched, and hydrated. Bring on the umps that need to have their eyesight checked and the sunflower seeds stuck in the dryer vent and the overzealous parent on the other side that is getting on my last nerve.

We made it through some dark times, Baseball, and now all is right with the world and we're together again. Oh, how I've missed you.

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