There was a day in high school that it would not quit raining.
It was my senior year and I was super bummed about the crappy weather because I had a soccer game that afternoon and I wanted to play. I was pumped.
Somewhere in the afternoon the rain stopped. It was up to the coach to make the call if the field was playable for the afternoon or not. So during my gym period, he and I walked down to assess the damage.
The field was a mess. It really was. On the surface it looked okay, but just below, was mud and basically a slippery disaster.
Being the person that I am, I put reason aside and said "I think it's doable Coach".
I actually still suffer from that waytooexcitedforcommonsense disorder.
He looked at me and agreed. I'm guessing he really wanted to play too.
If you think about it, we would all be in cleats and plus, who doesn't like getting all muddy and gross during a soccer game?
Well actually, I really don't... But whatever.
The field was fine for a while, but after just a bit of play, it very closely resembled a pig sty. It was bad. Girls were slipping and sliding everywhere. But it was still doable.
Then it happened; I got the ball and took off for the goal. I lined up and planted my left foot and shot with my right. The goalie came barreling toward me and dove.
And she couldn't stop.
Thanks to the ridiculous conditions of the field, she slipped across that grass at lightning speed and her entire balled up body didn't stop until it came to rest against my locked and planted left leg.
The pain I felt in that moment was the worse I had ever felt. I've actually only felt that strong of pain twice more in my entire life and once was childbirth.
Yea. It was bad.
But what that day did for me (besides taking me out the rest of my senior year), was scare me. And make me super aware of my knee.
I had a brace fitted for college that was supposed to "help", but in truth it freaked me out more. Psychologically I thought that thing was a sign of weakness; that people would see it and go for that knee. So two games into my freshman year at college, I ripped off my (very expensive custom made) brace and never looked back.
Sorry Mom and Dad.
But the fear was still there. It took a lot for me to stick my foot back in to get a ball or to take a shot again. I was terrified.
To this day, I'm obsessed with how easy it is to tear a knee. Watch a sporting event with me. I cringe more than a gambler. It's bad. But it freaks me out.
It's the same thing with raising a child.
I know all the dangers and scary things in life. I've seen them. Heck, I've lived through a ton of them.
I know what different experiences can do. How they can damage a person. How they can destroy you.
How on Earth am I supposed to let my sweet, innocent, precious Baby Girl out in a world like that?
For her to feel that kind of pain? To get knocked down? To get hurt?
Eventually, I threw caution to the wind and played like I'd never been hurt before. And that, is probably what kept me from getting hurt again. Because being timid? or reluctant? That gets you hurt faster. Going in to a play with your entire thought process and heart? Keeps you safe. Keeps you focused.
I can't be terrified to let her try things. She's going to have to live like I did. Throwing herself into different activities and experiences to find what she loves. To find what she's good at. I don't want her timid and afraid to try. That's how you get hurt. That's how you miss out.
Once again, I'll be a spectator. Cringing as she hits opposition or falls down or gets hurt. But, I also know enough to remind her to keep trying. To get back out there. To go full force again and find something you love. To quite literally, stick your foot in. That when you put your heart and soul into something, you might get hurt. But you also might not. You might score a goal. You might just rock it.