Sometime before the beginning of school, we had a family conversation about what Vincent should do in addition to attending the nation’s oldest public school.
We decided that it was important that he do something that he liked (a radical idea), kept him connected to friends not at his school and got him some exercise. As a result, he’s playing on, not one, but two travel soccer teams. That means that he has a scheduled soccer activity six times a week, and he generally makes five of those.
That seems excessive, but it is something that he really enjoys and it seems important that he does some of that right now. It balances the PI’s constant harangue about homework…a little bit.
Right around the beginning of the fall, what used to be heel pain became pretty serious knee pain after soccer. Given that the Parent Imperfect can barely make it up the stairs on what’s left of his rodillas, V’s knee pain was immediate cause for concern.
His mother, the Nurse Practitioner, quickly called this as Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome. The PI’s father would certainly have said, “I used to have one of those, but the buttons fell off of it.” After a few weeks, Liz took V to the pediatrician who, of course, knew better than to argue with her. O-S it was.
To the PI’s surprise, the doctor didn’t recommend that V stop playing. Instead, he needs to take anti-inflammatories and put ice on the knees after playing. He does that, to the surprise of all, and he keeps playing. Whether or not any of this is a good idea is another story.
Interesting things emerge when he must sit long enough to chill his knees. At just that moment last night, he said, “You know those people who say they’ve seen the Virgin Mary in their waffles or something? Do they really keep the waffles in a museum?…Why?” It turns out that the boy did not know which virgin his Mexican teammate was talking about, so the PI got to activate his long-dormant Catholic education. V was unimpressed, but less confused…maybe.
Immediately after clarifying the Immaculate Conception, the PI ascended to say goodnight to the little girl.
-Do you want to me to do something really refreshing to you?, was her eye-opening question to him.
He couldn’t imagine what that would be, but decided to play along.
-Lay down on the pillow and put your feet up on the bed. Cierre los ojos y imagínate que estás acostado en una hamaca en Guatemala.
From there, the child switched into English and took him through this two minute guided imagery thing that absolutely reduced him to a blob of jelly on her bed. The warm sun, the hammock gently swinging, the wind blowing the plam trees…the whole nine yards. Scary…
-?Dónde aprendiste a hacer eso?, questioned the PI, even more flabbergasted than usual.
–Mami me lo acaba de hacer y yo pensaba que…you would like to try it.
Can this be the same child that had a tantrum when her mother insisted that she go to bed?