Bubble Wrapping Our Kids—And Why it Doesn’t Work

I have two boys–one giant 17 year old who weighs over 240lbs and towers at 6’4” and one 13 year old that is tall and skinny. Polar opposites. Sometimes I swear he will snap in half if he gets hit in the wrong place.

My house has always had sports going on. Whether it was Blast Ball at three years old—oh the laughs with that one—or touch football once they got a little bit older, there was always something going on in our house.

My oldest, Bryson, was THAT kid growing up. The parents would all point and say, “There is no way that kid is the same age,” “I am not putting my kid against him, he will get crushed,” “Are we sure he is seven?” That was a constant. It wasn’t fun either. If someone got hurt, it was always “Bryson’s fault” because he was bigger and he surely fell or shoved them.

Then there is Ty. Shaped completely different but a ball of his own energy. When it was his turn to play sports, the roles reversed and I was the one freaking out about the big kid on the other team that “my son was not going to guard.” The kid has a mustache—are we sure he did not get held back three years?!

But, I guess that is normal for any parent. We all want them to succeed in their sports. We want them to understand that they won’t always win and to lose with dignity. To be good sports no matter the outcome. And we all want them to stay in a safety net—wrapped in bubble wrap and taped in for extra security, so that nothing can hurt them.

Am I the only one who has thought that though?! I have wanted them to line the kids up by height and weight and pair off to where the little kids play the little kids and the big kids play the big kids. All fair. No one gets squished by someone twice their size. But I can’t do that. Because that’s not how life is. Some kids hit puberty at 5th grade—Bryson—and some not for a while. They all just learn how to compete against one another.

Bubble wrapping both of my kids has been prevalent their whole life. They just don’t know it. The amount of times I have almost gone into a game and pulled them out to put a band-aid on their cut, is just outrageous.

Bryson is currently competing at the top level for baseball. Scouts have been contacting him and his coach and his goal is to play D1 Baseball after graduation in 2018. This past weekend he had a HUGE tournament where seven schools were planning to come watch, SEVEN! Texas State, Air Force, Angelo State, and OSU were just a few of the big name schools to be there.

The energy was on an all-time high.

He played two games on Thursday and had Friday off before the big game on Saturday, so he wanted to take his girlfriend to our ranch to hangout and show her the area! The whole family decided to go.

I checked all the boxes. I kept him hydrated and made sure he reapplied sunscreen like it was his job. Everything was going great.

Around sunset he wanted to show his girlfriend a cool place to watch the sun go down. They took off in our souped up buggie, equipped with a roll cage and seatbelts.

It had been some time since they had left and my phone began to ring.

“Hurry! Hurry! Come quick!! It rolled. We rolled. Macy, she’s stuck. She’s stuck. Oh my gosh, mom! Send dad! Hurry!”

My heart just stopped.

“Robert!! The kids, the buggy, it rolled!! Macy is trapped. Hurry!!”

My husband took off on the four-wheeler and met my youngest son on his dirt bike as he sped up to the house.

“Hurry dad, they rolled!”

I start to panic. I am running to get in a golf cart to meet them there.

“No mom, take the car. They are going to need to go to the ER.”

Tears start to blur my vision.

How bad is it?? How did this happen?! Are they going to die?!

I get to the place and see the Razor—the buggy—on its side. Macy is screaming. I could feel the pain she must be in. Thank Jesus Robert used to be a paramedic and knew how to handle the situation.

They lifted the buggy over Macy’s head and got her out. She was holding her shoulder and blood was just everywhere. We couldn’t tell where it was coming from.

“It hurts so bad.”

But then she said this.

“I am so so sorry. I ruined your son. I didn’t mean to.”

What does she mean?

I saw a goose-egg on my son’s forehead and just prayed it wasn’t a concussion.

We headed to the nearest hospital—30 minutes away.

Her collarbone was broken and she had a gash on the side of her head that required 9 staples and 5 stitches.

They had switched drivers after the sunset. They didn’t buckle up—another story for another time. She over-corrected a turn and it flipped causing Bryson to be ejected from the buggy and her to get trapped. They are lucky to be alive.

Thank you, Jesus.

She knew he had a big game the next day and had felt that because she was the one driving, she had ruined his chances of getting scouted. But wow, was the Lord on our side that night. They were okay. She was okay. He was okay. Everything was okay.

It would have been hard for him to focus and to pitch his best, but the forecast called for rain, and boy did it rain. The game was cancelled, allowing all of us to get the rest we needed after that weekend.

I learned that I can’t bubble wrap them like I want to. I can’t always be their protector and keep them safe. Sometimes that’s just how life is.

I learned that no matter how much we try and protect them, we can’t always know what is going to be thrown our way in life—and we want them to be kids, don’t we?! We want them to enjoy life and not go about it scared.

We just need to trust that God has them and will protect them when we cannot.

ß What I want my kids to look like! HA!

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