Subourbon Mom

My Heart Wears Soccer Shorts
April 25, 2013, 11:36 am
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age, Parenting, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

There’s the old saying that you shouldn’t wear your heart on your sleeve.  There’s another one that says teens wear their hearts on InstaGram (#need40likes). My heart has been running around in either a pair of soccer shorts or a pair of horseback riding breeches for the last several years, and in diapers and training pants before that.

A year or so ago, I watched from across the soccer field as Daughter #1 desperately tried to suck in air during an asthma attack. It was a terrible feeling, knowing what was happening, but unable to help. My heart was lying on that field, and there was nothing I could do to make her stop being scared or keep her from hurting.  Now, we know to watch for the telltale signs, and even her coaches say, “Go take a puff so you can get back in here.” But this past weekend, after the pollen cloud descended upon us that could have come straight out of a Stephen King movie (think “The Fog”), I listened to Daughter #1 reach a new height of coughing and hacking. After a couple of long nights, we went to the local kids’ Doc-in-a-Box.

When Daughter #1 asked why she still had to go to the pediatric doctor, I said, “I think it’s cleaner, and we’ve probably had most of the germs floating around in there anyway.”

Daughter #1 was not thrilled with that explanation.

Her opinion sank even farther as we walked in and stood in the full waiting room, watching toddlers and preschoolers run around with green noses and tired parents clutching smeared wads of tissues and half-eaten bags of Cheerios.

“I’ll stand,” she muttered.

Only at the end of the visit did I manage to find the “hanitizer” as someone called it.

While we waited to be seen, I theorized to myself what a brilliant business model these places are. They perpetuate their business by opening on off-hours (when most kids do stupid things like shove raisins up their noses); they charge outrageously (I assume to attract doctors willing to work off-hours) and parents are willing to pay in order to get some relief for their child; and they are such a Petri dish of fluid, germs and general grossness that you are bound to return in a few days with new symptoms.

Four prescriptions and one breathing treatment later, I was marveling at the wonder that is better living through chemistry.

Last week, my heart was on the soccer field again, racing around in the form of Daughter #2. A fearless goalie, she took a hard shot to the face with a few minutes left in the game. Her head snapped back and she dropped like a stone.  By the time I got on the field she was up and saying she was fine. In fact, she made two more saves, wiping away a nosebleed in between. But something wasn’t right. She was shifting from foot to foot and looking “off.”

After the game, she was evaluated by her trainer, who said she could have a concussion (using the proper disclaimer that he isn’t a doctor). The evaluation was disturbing: Daughter #2 answered everything in a monotone, had little balance, was dizzy, and couldn’t repeat numbers back. She didn’t remember the hit. Again, there was nothing I could do except watch and trust in the people there to help. The next day, feeling like there had to be something I could do, I took her to the eye doctor to make sure it was ok (it was). Beyond that, there was nothing to do but rest and wait.

No “better living through chemistry” with this one.

Anyway, we got through the weekend, everyone is coherent, breathing normally, and getting back on track.

Everyone except me.

Last night I couldn’t sleep, lying in bed with my heart racing and every muscle tensed like I was walking on a tightrope.

It took me a while, but I finally realized that my heart had been so busy running around the soccer fields, getting banged up and bruised, that it didn’t know what to do when it could finally settle back inside where it belonged, if only for the night. In the morning it would be outside again, racing toward the goal, fending off balls, riding horses, walking to and from class, or even driving to work (Hubby has a piece out there, too).

So I did what any mom having an anxiety attack at 2:00AM would do—I grabbed a couple of PMS pills (the symptoms are eerily similar) and read my book until my heart relaxed enough for me to fall asleep.

No one told me that parents wear their hearts on their children. (They also didn’t tell me that children can take their diapers off and play with their own poo, but that’s another story.) Would I have done anything differently had I known? Of course not; but now I know where the phrase “mother’s little helper” comes from. For some of us it’s pills, for some it’s meditation, and for others it’s prayer. For the rest, it’s probably that great anesthetizer of the southern masses, bourbon.

PS–this is in no way a solicitation of parental advice. I’m a firm believer in making my own mistakes, which are as many as the chiggers Hubby attracts every summer.

7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Don’t forget there is always equine therapy readily available to you!!!!


Comment by Kimberly Anderson

I needed it! Thanks or the lesson today–totally needed something just for me! (Already had a bath & Tylenol)


Sent from my iPad


Comment by libbyhall

This turned out really well and truly love the last sentence.


Comment by lynchburggal70

Hi Lib, Love reading your blog! I totally can identify with this one. This is why I have to color my hair every six weeks 🙂

Take care,


Comment by Jill Colmet

Scary, isn’t it? I don’t even know what tyne real color of mine is anymore!


Comment by libbyhall

Beautifully written. Moms and Dads always carry their hearts on their sleeves, even when their babies are in their 40s. By then their sleeves need to be longer to handle the additional generations.

Take a deep breath and send peace, love, and healing energy to each of those hearts.



Comment by Sharon

Thanks so much for your post–I love the image of longer sleeves to encompass the generations.



Comment by libbyhall

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