What is the last thing you say to your child before they leave the house? Maybe it is “I love you.” “Be careful” is always toward the top of my list. Ideally, I’d like to hear “Yes ma’am,” or “I will” in response. Do I ever hear that?! No! Nick’s favorite response is “No promises.”
I let him walk out, but I badly want to yell, “No! Promise me!” But I know he won’t and probably can’t: He’s a 13-year-old boy! I guess I have unrealistic expectations if I think he will just respond with “okay.” But just once, I really want to hear that.
Are boys ever careful? Do they ever grow into being careful? If the answer is no, don’t tell me! I’d rather keep living in my fantasy world thinking that when he leaves my supervision, he exercises the utmost caution. But I know that’s not very realistic.
Those familiar with our family know that this time of year our schedule completely revolves around baseball. Our weekends are almost always spent at the baseball field. Next year Nick will be in 8th grade and will be able to try out for the high school baseball team. Things have changed since his days of sweet, fun, not-so-competitive baseball. The game is much more competitive, and those high school boys throw the ball hard! The boys get praised for “taking one for the team” and if they try to move out of the way of a wayward ball their teammates lovingly say, “We’ve got ice.”
I have my own responses in my head, but of course don’t say them out loud! It never fails – after every game where one of his teammates gets hit by a pitch, Nick will come to me very seriously and say the same thing: “Mom, you know I’m not stepping out of that box. I’m staying right in there and taking it.” And I always reply, “I know Nick. You have told me this before.” Sometimes, just for the heck of it, I will ask that he please protect his head and his face.
I have such mixed emotions. I don’t want him to live his life being afraid, but couldn’t he be just a little cautious sometimes? I’m so proud of him for taking the position of not stepping out of that box. But could he sometimes at least consider it?
Nick wants nothing more than to be like all of his friends. He doesn’t want hemophilia to make him different. And he doesn’t want anybody to look at him differently because of it. As hard as it has been, I’ve really made an effort to allow him to grow up that way. I have always thought that people probably think I don’t have a worry in the world and that I let him do whatever he wants. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. I just don’t want my worry to limit him anymore than it has to.
Maybe I should take a page from Nick’s playbook — when he tells me not to worry, I’m going to start responding with “No promises!”
Tracy, her husband, Lance, and son, Nick, (13-years-old) live in Virginia.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.Â