My son’s little body hurdles toward my open arms. His brain moving faster than his colt-like legs, his smile fixes on me. Feet catching on one another, he flies forward, my arms quickly catching his chest before he could face plant on the ground. It must be those high school soccer goalie reflexes kicking in. “Oy,” I think. I’m raising a boy.
I already see hints of the physicality that is to come in bloody lips and scraped knees. If my husband is to be believed, I’m in for monthly (weekly?) trips to the doctor. I’m sure there are plenty of girls for whom this applies as well; and I’m sure there are boys for whom this won’t be an issue. I am fresh and learning and taking each bruise as it comes. I have no point of reference.
I only ever broke my pinky toe: falling out of bed once in high school. I got up in the night to pee, but my leg, having fallen asleep, gave way, and as it was crumpling to the ground like a soggy cardboard box, the toe snapped under. I lay on the floor crying and yelling. But after a few minutes without any help, I hauled myself back up. I still had to pee, after all.
Over breakfast the next morning, I asked if anyone had heard my cries for help, to which my sister replied, “Oh yeah, I heard you, but I fell back asleep.” Gee, thanks. So, no, I’m not a frequent flyer at urgent care. I don’t feel ready for the potential surge of cuts, bruises, knocked out teeth and broken noses.
Already there is a lot of doubt and second guessing of mothering decisions, and thinking about the future seems daunting. I know I’m putting the cart way before the horse here, but right now my biggest doubt concerns football. It is autumn after all.
My husband played in college, and he isn’t into the idea of our son following in his footsteps either. I appreciate the fact that his parents didn’t let him play until high school, and they let the decision be his at that point. But even starting later than most, he endured his share of hard knocks.
I spent a college summer interning at a sports TV station, back when I thought I would be a sportscaster. I attended the local pro-team training camp everyday, running up and down the sidelines following cameramen and reporters, joking with the players in the field house.
Is it a double standard to say you’re not allowed to do something while cheering on others who do? And, like my husband’s parents decided, is there a point or an age where you can no longer dictate what activities your child is or is not allowed to pursue?
These are the doubts and questions that swirl around in my head at night. Every time I turn on a game, I wonder if I ought to be watching it, supporting the sport. And my son isn’t even two.
Even though this parenting uncertainty (among about a million more) seems pressing now, I look forward to seeing how my ideas and style evolve as my son grows. Everyday brings up a new worry that I’m forced to face and make a decision on, and I’m interested to see how this whole parenting thing pans out.
For now, I think I have at least one more season of football fandom that I can keep away from my son, watching after he goes to sleep. Next year I’ll reevaluate. If I’m even still sticking around for it by the end of this season.
Because I certainly have my doubts.
Hannah Lowe Corman is a painter and yoga teacher in NYC inspired by nature, movement and meditation. She has a young son, and she is working on figuring out this whole new mom/entrepreneur lifestyle, which is overwhelming. Follow her on Instagram and on Facebook. Make sure to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being considered for one of her 2018 painting commissions.
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