Our oldest child, Peanut, recently began her third season of playing volleyball with our local homeschool team, the Titans. She is 12 years old and is already five foot seven and still growing so volleyball is a good sport for her physical gifts. Plus, she really enjoys playing and I played volleyball all through high school, in Southern California so it made me happy that she wanted to play the sport her dad played.
Her coordination is finally catching up to her height and she was really looking much more comfortable out there on the court. Her coaches were looking to her to be more of a leader this year and to help some of the younger, less experienced girls to improve and she was starting to take to that role too. Her two best friends also play and so she gets to see them more in season and everyone is happy, despite the hard work that must be put in.
Then, while participating in a in-season volleyball clinic, she got injured. While working on her approach to the net, she landed wrong and suffered a sever ankle sprain. It wasn’t just a rolling of the ankle but a full blown, seeing black spots and nearly passing out from the pain, ankle sprain. Mom was called to go pick her up and after one look, took her to an Urgent Care clinic where it was x-rayed and put in a splint to immobilize it. After seeing her pediatrician the next day, we were told that they couldn’t even determine the extent of the injury until the major swelling went down. She also told us to be prepared for her to not play for the rest of the season, which still has 2 months remaining.
What a huge bummer for her and for us. She played softball this year for the first time on the recommendation of her volleyball coaches. It was meant to make her stronger and improve her arm strength for volleyball. And it worked. She is much stronger and more confident due to that work and experience. Unfortunately, she may not get to use her newfound strength and skills for a bit, until her ankle recovers.
She now gets to learn some new lessons and skills. How to be a good teammate from the bench. How to encourage and lead despite her inability to play. How to suffer adversity and still come through it stronge. These are also valuable and important and in the long run, will make her a better person for having experienced them. As parents, it’s our job to help guide her through it and to lift her spirits. That’s not so easy to do all the time because we too are disappointed in the cruel “twist” of fate. However, it also gives us a new opportunity to see our Peanut shine and we know she will be wonderful at this too. Also, the other kids think crutches are cool and they are much more helpful to her now than they’ve ever been which is also neat to see.