windsorblue: (starbuck apollo)
posted by [personal profile] windsorblue at 11:22am on 08/05/2010 under , , ,
So, the boy broke a finger playing football.

I was against the football. I'm not a big fan of the game in the first place - I don't get the rules or the scoring structure at all, and I think I still have residual issues over the game as a whole because the only time my dad would yell when I was a kid was at the teevee when he was watching the formerly LA Rams lose play. But the boy reallyreally wanted to play in this league, and it was "just" flag football, as opposed to Pop Warner, and so I gritted my teeth and ponied up some dough, and off he went.

And I have to say, he's pretty good at it. I mean, from what I can tell. As noted above, I'm pretty football illiterate. But he enjoyed the hell out of it and got a lot of pats on the head from his coach, and the beau and my mom kept telling me he was doing all the right things, so.

Anyway. In practice before his game last Friday (yeah, all the games are on Friday nights, just like the teevee show), apparently he went for a catch and the ball jammed into his left pinky finger. I didn't get there until the first few minutes of the game itself, so I didn't see this happen, but throughout the game he kept shaking his hand like it was hurting him, and when I asked about it his dad insisted it was nothing. The boy didn't want to come out of the game because they only had six kids show up, so if he'd come out his team would have had to forfeit. And his coach (and his dad...grr...) kept giving him the old "man up, play through the pain" speech.

So by the time the game was over and I finally got a look at his hand, his finger was swollen up like a little sausage and half-purple with bruising. Face, meet palm. Palm, this is face. I took him to the urgent care the next day, and sure enough, the X-rays showed there was a tiny fracture on the middle knuckle. The doctor there gave us a brace and the name/number of an orthopedic doctor, told the boy he was a tough kid for staying in for the whole game with a broken finger, and sent us off on our merry. The orthopedic doc gave us some splints, showed me how to tape it up properly, and told the boy how he himself had once broken a finger playing football, and then re-broken it by not following his doctor's directions and continuing to play. And while I was grateful for the object lesson, I was also re-mystified over the whole notion that somehow playing with an injury made one more of a man. All I could think of was the Black Knight in Holy Grail, no goddamned lie.

The boy is now off the team for the rest of the season (all two weeks of it), and his coach sent out a total "win one for the Gipper"-style email to the rest of the parents. Which apparently didn't work too well, since they lost last night. The boy went to the game, though, because he wanted to be with his team. Which makes me think this might be "his" sport - he would have gladly skipped baseball for an injury, and I can't see him hanging around at a soccer game if he wasn't going to be able to play. So, yikes. And the poor kid is miserable, since he's left-handed, and this big ol' splint is making it hard for him to hold a fork or a pencil, and his school is starting their state testing next week. And he keeps pulling some of the tape off because it's bugging him, or it gets dirty, or he just plain can't like it. I keep telling him it could have been a lot worse and at least he doesn't have a cast, but he's skeptical.

Also, when I told his dad that the finger was actually broken, he said "I'm proud of him."

"You're proud of him for breaking a finger?" I said.

"No, I'm proud of him because he stayed in the game, even with a broken finger," he said.

Now, I see his point. I get that we want to encourage the kid to have some stick-to-it-ivness and whatnot. But...really? He rides the hell out of the kid for not bringing home straight A's on his report card (how dare he bring home that B- in math, wtf?), but doing something that can ultimately be called both "reckless" and "stupid" is what he's going to pat the kid on the back for? REALLY? Am I wrong here? Is it me? Or is that a messed-up priority right there?



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