My 10-year old loves a good hug.
When he gives someone a hug, he wraps them up and doesn’t let go, hanging on those people until he has to be separated from them. With me, it has added oomph. When he hugs me, he treats me as if I have the football and he’s on defense. He gets a running start and slams into me, as if he’s trying to take me to the ground. It’s a struggle to keep standing sometimes. I admit, though, that it’s fun.
However, a few weeks ago, I twisted my knee and have been hobbling ever since. Given the pain, I was convinced I knew what it was, a partial tear of a ligament in my left knee. That may be an odd self-diagnosis, but I did tear a ligament in my knee twenty years ago. I remember the way the pain felt back then. The pain I have now feels the same. Twenty years ago, I rehabbed my knee by wearing a brace and getting a lot of physical therapy. After trying and failing to rehab it on my own, I finally went to see a doctor. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis, believing that I aggravated whatever I did twenty years ago. He referred me to a specialist and I made an appointment. Now all I can do is limp and wait.
My 10-year old though, didn’t realize the pain I was in until a few days ago. Getting a good running start with his football tackle hug one morning before I went to work, he smashed into me. I reacted to steady myself, applying major torque to my knee, and making a bad problem worse. He saw the pain on my face and wondered what happened. He felt sad. I explained that it wasn’t his fault and told him not to worry but asked that he take it easy on me for a while. He has since cut back on the tackles, but he still tries to hug me every morning. He hangs on a little, and then lets go.
With any luck, the damage to my knee is minor. Maybe I just need to stay off it for a while and use a brace. I have been putting ice packs on it a lot to deal with the pain, but I know ice alone won’t do the trick. Whatever the fix, I hope it’s quick.
Because my 10-year old is growing up.
And as he gets older, he may not want to hug me at all for a while.