My license plate reads “RT NOW”, and I try to live by that motto. Right now. Live in the moment, enjoy it or at least experience it, because you never know what is lurking around the corner. Most times it is a slow, controlled turn, predictable and sometimes boring, but familiar. Other times (and we hope they are few to nil), as we take that corner we have to slam on the breaks, everything happens in slow motion in a split second, and sometimes it changes the course of our lives. And still other times, we have to break, but thankfully the ABS system in out our vehicle kicks in and we are able to maneuver through the corner without too much turmoil and confusion in our lives hereafter.
That is how I have ended up this beautiful fall morning at the emergency room with Miss Know-It-All. What seemed like a manageable twist of the ankle during cheerleading practice last night — I know, I know, I can feel the judgement — which is exactly the exasperated attitude I gave her last night when I picked her up — kept her from telling me information that had she, I might have been a little more compassionate.
So when she hopped into my room this morning, shaking with pain, it was then I realized the extent of her injury. Just a few days earlier, when someone I knew found out my daughter was the one that gets thrown in the air I had had to endure terrible flyer stories. You know like the horror stories people feel compelled to tell you when you’re pregnant. Maybe if I hadn’t allowed myself to be won over by these stories I might have been a little more in-tune and approachable.
Of course I then felt the need to lecture Miss Know-It-All once again on being “careful” — actually said that to her as she was getting out of the vehicle when I dropped her off at practice. Exactly what that means, “be careful” when we say that to someone, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a residual autonomic response of having babies. A phrase I must have emitted several thousand times a day to my toddler.
So with all this mind, when Miss Know-It-All hurts herself, does she really feel inclined to give me all the details? She saw the look on my face as I drove up and saw her hobbling towards me. With my judginess in full swing she played it down, which you can’t blame her for. Who needs that?! That night, she limped around, up and down the stairs, sat with ice packs while I lived in the land of Oblivious.
The judgment just has no place. It’s a lose-lose situation. Yes, there are inherent risks in cheerleading, even more so when you are a flyer, but there are inherent risks in getting out of bed. Did the “I told you so” – even if not verbalized, help the situation? To do it again, I should have kept my mouth shut and trusted my daughter and her decision to be on this team. So when she hurt herself, she would have felt more inclined to be more forthcoming, knowing she was going to get sympathy & compassion rather than judgement & an unsupportive parent. I should have remembered my other motto, “It can always be worse”.