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The Pain of Parenting


You know that saying that your mother use to say, “NO PLAYING BALL IN THE HOUSE!” I know it all too well.  I can’t count the number of broken items I broke in our house while I was dreaming of winning the Heisman Trophy.   I’m pretty sure that I broke a mirror with my hand striking the pose.  Hot Mama has even told me to not play ball in the house, in fact my son has even told me it.

The Kid and I were running around throwing a football chasing each other, making the loop around the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  He threw me the ball and I made an amazing diving catch into the end zone, or couch in this case, and the crowd cheered.  My teammate came running jumped onto my back as we celebrated winning the game.

As our celebration continued, it started to turn south.  The Kid was sliding off my back.

Let’s backtrack though.

My wife bought us a new coffee table that needed to be refinished.  I had it sanded down, painting the bottom black and stained the top a rich mahogany color to go with my many leather bound books. The entire process took a month, mainly because of my pure laziness and it was too damn cold out in my garage.  Anyway, the coffee table had only been in our living room for a week.

As the Kid was sliding off my back, I reach up to hold the football in my celebration after the realization that I would not be able to stop him from falling. He suddenly falls off faster and I hear a bang.  Suddenly there were tears.  Like any father, I say, “suck it up you’ll be fine!” OK maybe when I heard these cries, that wasn’t my reaction. I knew that the coffee table was hard and probably hurt him.

As I reach down he comes up to give me a hug, still crying.  I had never heard him cry like this except at 2AM when he was 4 months old.   He turns his head into me and I look down.  The next thing I see is blood running down his head.

I jump into hero mode and run into the bathroom almost screaming myself.  My wife hears what is going on and comes in wondering what is going on and she sees the damage and calls for an ER visit.  At this point the Kid has nearly stopped crying.  He is looking up at both of us wondering what the hell was wrong.  After a phone call to our nurse friend my argument to just let him suck it up was lost.

We end up at the Urgent Care and the doctor uses liquid stitches to glue the Kid back together.   I couldn’t have felt guiltier during this time.  I knew it was my fault, I knew that I should have listened to MY mother and MY wife and not played ball in the house.

It is interesting though that as parents, the guilt that we feel when our child gets hurt, especially when it was our fault.  My heart sank as I watched the doctor glue the Kid up.   I still hear those cries today.  I never want to hurt my child, however, kids will be kids, dads will be dads, and someone will get hurt.  Rough housing is just in the nature of a father son relationship.
Well, now I have to go, the Kid is throwing a football at me and wanting to play.

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on January 7, 2014, in Fatherhood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. head injuries are the worst. There’s so much that could be going on you don’t see. Glad it all worked out. Mostly.

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