Today Moe turned 17 years old and it will definitely be a birthday that he will never forget. He had spring training for football today and a presentation for scouts right after, so there was no time to do a birthday dinner today. So, we had his birthday dinner last night at his favorite Chinese restaurant and we planned to celebrate his birthday today with just dessert. He wanted raspberry jelly rolls for his birthday cake, not very traditional.
Never had time to bake them because we got a call that his knee went out on him during practice. Renaissance Man came early from work today, which is unusual for him and we hurried to pick him up at the football field and there was Moe with bandages wrapped around his knee and looking frustrated.
He looked at us and said, "Happy Birthday to Me" and then started crying. He kept saying over and over, "Why did this have to happen to me?" Little does he know that I was saying the same thing over and over in my head. And I wanted to cry with him. I knew if I started crying, he would feel bad and try to make me feel better. So, I held it in until now. I'm just letting the tears roll down my face as I type this.
He's a great kid. He works hard. And the darn kid loves football! Why couldn't he love something with less contact like tennis or bowling? He's a great football player, I'm not saying that because he's my son, he's really good. When he was injured last year mid-season, you could tell the team was struggling without him. The pain of not being able to play was a lot greater than the physical pain he endured. And when the season ended, it was 4 long months of having to see him go thru painful physical therapy. The pain never ended and the tears and frustration were endless.
So when the fracture finally healed two months ago, we all hoped (naively) that that would be the end of his injuries. And then his knee buckled under him during a very light drill. Moe is a trooper. He doesn't want to quit football even when we told him that he could, he doesn't have to go through this. He looked at us and with a steely determination in his eyes said, "I will never quit football." Dang it!!!! I just want him to be safe. I'm tired of seeing him get dissapointed. I just want him to be that little boy again.
I want him to be that little boy whose biggest problem of the day was whether to play kick ball or tether ball during recess. I wish I could make life easier for him. If I could take his pain away I would.
I can't take his pain away. I can't wish for him to be that little boy again. And I can't promise him that life would get easier because it doesn't. My wish for him on his birthday is to continue to love him, support him, and not wish for him to be that little boy. I'm proud of the young man he is today. Pizza & Peanut Butter Sandwiches!
Happy Birthday Son.