In January I had this fabulous idea about doing more blogging here, with a focus on my experiences as a Mom - under the heading: YO MAMA! I'm still working on the time to turn that idea into a reality, but this weeks' post felt like something that could fit there too . . . so I'm honoring it as a turtle-step in the right direction.
I am an accidental baseball Mom.
I grew up without a TV, and never played sports. I didn't know the first thing about baseball and was actually totally content with my lack of knowledge about the sport. Then at 23 I got engaged to a guy who had lived and breathed baseball his whole life, and the year we got married the Seattle Mariners were on track to win the American League West Championship Series. So I started paying attention and asking questions. Jump ahead a few years and we had two boys - so somehow it was inevitable that they would be baseball players.
Sure enough, at 15 and 18 not only are they baseball players but they love the game almost as much as their Dad (more?), and I've learned to love it along the way too - it is a huge part of our lives.
This year my older son headed to a small Junior College in Colorado to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing college baseball. We weren't able to visit the school in advance (to give the coaches an opportunity to see him play), so he was not awarded a scholarship and was one of six catchers on the initial team. Long story short - between player injuries and grade issues coupled with an insane amount of hard work on his part . . . my boy made it to that starting catcher position, and I could not have been prouder.
The only problem with that glory was that the team had no back-up catcher at that point, so he was playing ALL the games. And then he got injured. Two weeks ago a foul-tipped ball hit him in the face mask . . . and he's got a concussion. Which isn't great - but what's really not great about it is that it's his FOURTH concussion. (3rd baseball related).
Here's what happened the instant he texted me about it: I was transported immediately back to the day he got beat-up at school his sophomore year of high-school. (Adding here that it was totally un-provoked and so incredibly lame, it still makes my blood boil.) I got the call on my cell-phone while I was at a clients' office and just couldn't process the information quickly. This is totally normal for me - I am a s-l-o-w processor, a trait that renders me mostly useless in emergency situations . . . but that is a story for another day. :) So I called his Dad and told him to please get our kid at school and take him to the doctor right away.
So he went and got him. And took him home. And told me "he's fine."
As it turns out he totally wasn't fine, and it took him about nine months to recover from that particular head-injury. And I have beaten myself up a thousand times about why! why? why?! couldn't I have had the sense to just tell my customer I had to leave that day and taken care of the situation myself?
Here's the truth: Regardless if I had shown up that day to pick him up - he still had a concussion, and I couldn't have changed that. Might I have gotten more information sooner about how best to handle that type of injury? Yes. Would it have completely altered the outcome? No.
I have worked through a lot of my guilt stuff with a great therapist, and logically know that even though I tell myself that things are a certain way (usually bad) because I did or did not do something, or I could have done it better, or or blah blah blah - 99% of the time those thoughts are not true. But holy cow they are hard to release!
Yesterday as I was having a mini-meltdown at work about my boy being far away and bemoaning the fact that I couldn't go get his prescription for him (I like to fix things - can you tell?), I had this quick conversation with myself:
"I thought I was DONE with GUILT!"
"Oh right . . . getting over guilt isn't a one time deal."
(Which is to say you don't just get over it and it's gone - POOF! Nope - that's not a thing.)
"That reminds me of Forgiveness - that's not a one time deal either . . . "
"Wait . . . maybe getting past the Guilt is all about Forgiving myself . . . "
Big Sigh & Ah-Ha! Moment at the same time.
You know what they say about "Ah Ha!" moments? If you don't do anything about them they are just "Ha Ha!" moments . . . Clearly I have some work to do (still!) on my relationship with guilt and forgiving myself. <--- Thankfully I have tools for that - it's time to get them out again!
What about you? Do you struggle with guilt? Whether you have kids or not (and motherhood is a hot-bed for guilt issues!), it is a pervasive emotion that can show up all over the place - with family, relationships, at work . . . it does not discriminate. I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you have ways to navigate it when it bubbles up. Send me a note or leave me a comment - this is a no judgement zone.
Love and Light,
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