I’m not a big fan of summer. The heat makes me hot. The sun gives me cancer. The humidity makes me sticky. I realize I’m in the minority here, but summer is my least favorite season. So, when I woke up to a September Saturday morning and felt the crisp air and saw leaves had fallen from my maple tree, I was in heaven. It felt like fall. I just knew it would be a good day.
I arrived at the almost a teenager’s soccer game with the whiny boy in tow. I had pulled him from the nearby playground to sit still for the next hour and an half. He was not pleased. As we sat to watch the game I noticed that the other team was taller and heavier and much, much meaner, I was sure, than my sweet, petite almost a teenager. My daughter’s team did manage a 3-1 win but not before a big, mean girl kicked her in the stomach. What my daughter was doing on the ground, I’m not quite sure, but nevertheless, she came off the field with a size 8 cleat print on her uniform shirt. The almost a teenager said she almost threw up at the time of impact with the mean girl’s foot and she did run a bit lopsided for the rest of the game, but was otherwise fine. As we left the game, the coach yelled, “You might want to watch her for internal bleeding!” Oh, dear. That sounds serious. Bad things aren’t supposed to happen on my happy fall day. It was supposed to be good day.
We raced away from that first soccer game and made it just in time to the start of the boy’s soccer game. After sitting for so long, away from the playground, the boy was wound up and ready to run. He started the game and zipped around the field as he usually does. And then he fell. He landed head first. And he was out. How the boy managed to fall head first, I’m not quite sure, but nevertheless, he came off the field with a huge headache and no memory of the incident. As we left the game, another parent yelled, “You might want to watch him to see if his eyes are dilated!” Oh dear. That sounds serious. His minor concussion and our visit to the ER are the kinds of bad things that aren’t supposed to happen on my happy fall day. It was supposed to be a good day.
The next morning the almost a teenager woke up and was in quite a bit of pain. Her ribs hurt when she moved, coughed, sneezed or laughed. Yet still, she wanted to go kick the ball around at the school. The boy woke up with a headache and still hadn’t regained his memory. Yet still, he wanted to go climb the tree in the front yard. I’m not usually a nervous mother but the prior day’s injuries had me frightened, worried and a bit on edge. It was obvious these children had no sense. What if they hurt themselves again? I found myself hovering and being overly concerned with minute details of their behavior. I was having irrational thoughts of controlling them in ways I knew they would find stifling, overprotective and unjustified. In fact, to be completely truthful, I was determined that those children were never leaving the house again without the proper protection.
I wasn’t entirely sure how I would protect them, but I had visions of starting with a massive delivery of bubble wrap. I’d buy huge bulk rolls of it and store it in the garage. Before they left the house each morning, I’d hand each child a snorkel to breathe with, wrap them completely up in bubble wrap and comfortably send them on their way. Of course, I’d also have to put a few mattresses under the climbing tree in the front yard. I’m sure the homeowner’s association would grant me a waiver for that. After all, it was for the safety of the children. Who’d be against that? I’d probably have to carry a few extra mattresses with me in the trunk of the car as well. Then I would be prepared if we went to a playground or had to climb stairs or encountered an uneven sidewalk.
And of course, when they weren’t wearing their bubble wrap suits, helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and a bullet proof vest would be required attire. I even found a helmet made by Riddell that has a sensor inside. This helmet notifies parents and coaches if the child has received too large of an impact to the head- either in a single blow or collectively. Parents can keep track of the results online. Now, this helmet is made for football players, but my children, of course, would be required to wear them all the time. Even at night. You just never know when they would fall out of bed and somehow miss the mattresses I had placed beside them on the floor.
On the rare occasions the children would be allowed to ride in a car, ride their bike or God forbid, ride a scooter, they would be required to be ensconced in a full metal roll cage. Naturally, they would also always be surrounded by the safest and most technologically advanced air bags available. And it goes without saying that trampolines, blow up jumping toys and all carnival and theme park rides would be strictly prohibited under all circumstances.
My greatest safety feature would resemble the leashes or tethers you see on runaway two year olds at the mall. Mine would be marketed for older children as the Youngster Yankster and would come in the coolest designs and colors. You would have one option of tethering your child physically and yanking them out of any situation that you found potentially dangerous. This option comes with or without a harmless zap feature. For a second, slightly more expensive option, you could purchase the computer and cell phone version that allows you to monitor your child from anywhere in the world. When you became uncomfortable with the situation your child was in, you would simply punch in your password and your child would be yanked from the situation immediately, covered in bubble wrap and placed in a mattress covered room. It would be the fun, safe way of keeping your children out of harm’s way. Don’t tell me that it’s unrealistic either. I saw it on an episode of The Jetsons many years ago, so I know it’s possible.
I am happy to report that the children did recover from their injuries. My children are happy to report that I eventually came to my senses. I am no longer a paranoid, hovering lunatic. I am again fully willing to send them out into this cruel world to be injured at any moment. Life is back to normal. Almost. It was hot and sunny and miserable a few days ago. I decided to stay inside out of the sun and do a little internet research. I was very happy to find that I can get a 250 ft roll of bubble wrap for less than $50.00. And I can even get it in fabulous colors. We don’t want the other kids making fun of the children for not being fashionable now, do we?
Check This Out!
Look for the DVD, Standing In the Shadows of Motown. This highly entertaining documentary/concert follows the careers of the musicians known as the Funk Brothers. Considered the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music, the Funk Brothers have played on more #1 records than the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley COMBINED! It’s a fun movie, full of history, packed full of fabulous stories that will definitely have you singing along.