I waited--days, I'm sure--for the ref to blow the whistle to stop the play so someone could go see if she was alright. Nothing. And so, from the sidelines, I started yelling to the line judge. "She's hurt! Get him to blow the whistle!" I said, as I started onto the field.
Baroy grabbed my arm. "You can't go out there," he said.
"But she's hurt!" I repeated. And I shook him off, ready to go, when FINALLY I heard a whistle blow and, simultaneously, saw Em's head come up. Her coach went out onto the field, got her up, had her stretch, made her giggle. The game resumed.
When the quarter ended, Em came trotting over to me. "MOM!" she said. "You weren't going to come on the FIELD, were you?"
"You were HURT," I protested. "You were doubled over. What was I supposed to do? Wait for you to start vomiting up blood while the rest of the girls trampled over you?"
Baroy snorted. Em rolled her eyes a little. "I was OK," she said. "I was mostly worried about what YOU were gonna do!"
I feel like I'm doing a lot of my parenting from the sidelines lately, waiting for the ref to blow the whistle, unable to get onto the field to help. It may have been the literal case for a few seconds on Saturday, but it's the perfect metaphor for N at school these days. There are meetings and discussions, and people talk a lot about what they are going to do, but they don't actually DO any of it.
The whistle hasn't blown yet. My kid is in a heap on the field, and the play is continuing around him. Am I going to have to wait for him to vomit up blood and get trampled by the rest of the players?
Why isn't anyone blowing the damned whistle?
Em went down for the second time later in the game, after scoring a goal with her left foot. She was off balance, that not being her 'regular' kicking foot. (She'd seen the goalie out of position, knew it was her only shot, and took it.) Right after she kicked, a defender from the other team slammed into her, and she went down, skidding, burning patches of skin off of her knee, her shin, her elbow, and her belly.
You could see tears in her eyes as she got up. But the first thing she did was to check the goal, to be sure she'd put the ball where she'd intended it to go. Then she looked over toward the sidelines, toward me, and grinned, pumping her fist.
The whistle blew. Score.