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I have been told more than once, "You're so calm." Oh, if they only knew. I'm actually a complete worry wart, a nervous nelly, but somehow all of the crazy thoughts racing around my head cancel each other out and I just look calm. I also take a lot of pictures, so my worry is hidden by my fiddling with the camera. Which is helpful when you are at a rugby tournament.
See any similarities in these pictures?
The tall blonde number 12? That's my sweet daughter. Playing against high school teams from Tennessee and Wisconsin. I am all at once incredibly proud and worried even more than usual. So proud how these girls chat with each other and do each others hair before warm ups, and then head out onto the pitch and run head first into battle. Off the pitch they are sweethearts, on the pitch they are tough warriors that never gave up, pushing towards their try zone even when the short time remaining and the score of the other team meant victory was not possible.
But after four games every girl was hurting. Bruises and bandages and ice packs all around. Our team did pretty well injury-wise, but other teams weren't so lucky. Ambulances and EMTs are always, always on standby.
So here is my quandary - support her in a sport she loves that will likely mean future injury? Or protect her? We've been through serious injuries before, all caused by "safer" sports. No matter what she chooses to do, leaders and coaches are demanding. I hate that already, at 16, she is pulled in many directions, all groups insisting that she give them her sole attention. Her dad and I do not agree. Being a kid is exactly when you should be in all kinds of different activities. How else will you figure out what you like, where you strengths are, and what you really hate doing? So I pray, a lot, for her protection on the rugby field. because I just can't stand in the way of a team she loves.