Friday, April 22, 2011

The Boys of Summer (if we make it that far)

Baseball season has begun here, and it’s brought injuries right along with it.

I didn’t have time to blog about it at the time, but we broke Eli’s finger a few weeks ago playing catch. He and I were tossing a ball back and forth, and he managed to get his right pinky in the glove at the same time the ball got there.

Initially, we thought it was jammed. He’s my tough cookie, and didn’t want to stop, so after shaking out the hand a couple times, he threw the ball back to me and told me to keep playing.

We did, for another maybe 20 minutes until I had to stop due to *my* back pain. Jeep was having practice, so we went to watch for a while, and eventually Eli looks over at me from the bleachers:

“Mom? My finger is really swollen.”


Um, yeah. And completely black and blue. Took about a half-second of that momsense to know that was broken! Off we went to the urgent care clinic, and an x-ray and a splint later, I was left waiting for a call back from the radiologist.

(Now, mind you, outside of the very moment the injury took place, the child had said nothing about it hurting. He never took anything, and never complained about the pain. I’ve never seen a threshold for pain like he has, even as a baby he would get ear infections that should have resulted in screaming discomfort – nothing.)

When they called me back the next day, it was to let me know that it was in fact broken, and into a growth plate. They had made an appointment for us to see a specialist the next day. The specialist? He told us that there were actually two broken bones. Nice. He was pleased with the breaks, however, as they were snug together and there had been no shifting, so we left his office with some tape to help stabilize the finger while Eli plays ball, and we go back next week for some follow-up x-rays.

Fast forward to last night…..

Jeep has a game, and we’re behind, 5-2. We come up to bat for our last time, and we’re rallying. Our bats have come alive, and we’re unnerving their pitcher. He’s throwing wild ones, and our boys are taking advantage, stealing bases, moving around.

We score. And then again. One more time. It’s tied up with only one man down, and Thomas is standing on third, waiting for his chance to put us ahead. It comes – and honestly, I can’t even remember if it was because we hit the ball, or if a wild pitch was what sent him sprinting towards home, but he was running hard. And the ball was coming.

He slid, and his cleat caught on the front edge of home plate.

And we all knew. It was not good.

There is little that is harder on a mother’s heart than to see a child in pain and not be able to take that pain away. The coaches carried him from the field. His father drove the van through the barriers, pulling up as close as he could. His mother desperately tried to calm her son, while on the edge of hysterics herself. A little brother clung to her leg as she helped carry Thomas to the waiting van.

Just a little while ago, we got an email from our coach. Thomas’s leg is broken, both the tibia and fibula. They are trying to avoid surgical repair, as the bones were able to be reset. Now weekly x-rays will be used to ensure they stay that way.

On the field, as he lay there in excruciating pain, Thomas’s first question was “Was I safe!?” followed by “Did we take the lead!?” A short while later, at the hospital, he had his mother text the coach to see if we had held on to win the game.

We did. The boys rallied around their fallen teammate, now our honorary captain, and continued to score. When our third out was called, we  followed that up with what may well have been our best defensive inning yet.

We won last night, but lost a teammate for the season.

Welcome to spring, and sports with boys, huh?

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