Eli Manning, Alexander and Parenting

Today Alexander went to camp. It’s not the camp he attends for the bulk of the summer. It’s one of those educational type camps, where the kids are learning all year long. It’s the kind of camp that’s perfect for a week, but would grow tiresome after two; a kid’s gotta move after all.

Alexander went for his first day, and we carpooled with a friend. We didn’t carpool because of traffic or work schedules, we carpooled because it’s really nice to walk into a new environment with a friend. I dropped Alexander and his friend off at camp, and returned at 3.30 to pick him up. When I signed him out the counselor had a slip of paper for me. Apparently during water play someone had grabbed Alexander by the shoulder repeatedly and Alexander had received an ice pack. I thanked the counselor for letting me know, and walked my son to the car.

While we were walking I asked Alexander about his day. It was a good one, and there was a lot of great stuff to talk about. Next I asked him about the shoulder grabbing incident. I asked him why he needed ice, a punch to the shoulder couldn’t hurt that much.

“He grabbed me by the shoulder a lot of times.” My son said, “it hurt.”

I looked down and to the right where my boy was matching me stride for stride, “Then why don’t you just punch him? Punch him hard, and punch him once. Don’t get caught and he won’t grab you again.”

My boy looked at me with disbelief. His eyes said a thousand words, but his mouth said nothing.

As I’m sitting here writing Mr. G. and the kids are watching replays of Eli Manning’s injury. Jane and Alexander are marveling that Manning didn’t cry. I, on the other hand, wonder how his mother feels. I know it was an accident, but I bet she wants to beat the shit outta the guy who hurt her son.

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  2. I stressed my way through 2 years of flag football knowing that tackle was next. And the thought of someone tackling my boy was more than I could handle. But he is a boy and he will get hit. I wrestled myself for a few years trying to hold in my opinions. He respects my happiness so much that even a whiff of my anxiety would have made him bail on this sport. By the graces of God, he took up swim this summer, made the winter team and will sit out this first year of tackle. I am beside myself with relief. And amazed I was able to restrain my feelings on tackle to my small and impressionable son. THIS is the kind of hardships of parenting nobody can tell you about.

  3. Now that is quality Mom/son time! (also, I read the post about teaching your kids to hit back and can only imagine how cute Alexander’s red is – I always wished one of my boys would get my color, but it didn’t happen) – I love how you phrased what you said – hitting hard enough so he doesn’t bug you anymore, but don’t get caught! (we all know, even as adults, if you don’t get caught, it never *really* happened.) ;)
    I don’t condone hitting with my kids, but hitting back is a whole other story!

  4. My 6 yr old is in football now (tackle), so I’m sure we’ll be dealing with injuries soon. He’s had a nose bleed, but don’t know if it was related to a hit or was spontaneous. For some reason, I’m not worried about the injuries – when he had his nosebleed, I told him that was part of football and it was a badge of honor because football is TOUGH!

    (I don’t really see the connection with Eli Manning, though — it was completely part of a play with no other player being at fault at all.)

  5. There is such joy in being a boy. I know this because I was one. It used to make me crazy when my mother would try to stop my friends and I from just being boys. Can’t say that she did it all that often, but I remember a few instances.

    When people ask me what scares me the most as a parent I always say that I am afraid the kids will be like the boy I was. We jumped off the roof into swimming pools, rode our bikes everywhere, played stuntman and did all sorts of other stuff.

    And we got into fights. Yep, fist fights. It wasn’t like it happened all that often, but it did. And the last thing any of us wanted was for our parents to fight our battles for us. I am not saying that I advocate fighting, especially today when at the sight of blood people pull out their lawyers and checkbooks.

    But I got my kids into Krav Maga when they were young for a reason. I wanted them to learn discipline and to be able to tear the head off of kids/adults who physically attacked them.

    I still prefer that they walk away or solve it via words, but if that doesn’t work well….

  6. This is a very interesting blog post. It reminds me of what my husband was telling my our son. He told him to never let bullies “punk” him out. If they do, then talk with fists and end it. i am not really the physically violent type, but I do know that words will only get you so far.

  7. I’m struggling with this one. Do Unto Others is a core value, for me. I nanny for a 3 year old boy and 5 year old girl and a good chunk of my day is spent trying to teach them to stand up for themselves. I would get fired if I told them to hit someone while trying to deal with their problems.

    And, I agree with Laura. That Eli Manning injury was part of the play. It was his own teammate who tipped the first domino of the incident, and was doing so as part of the play.

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