The boy has kidney disease. It is not fatal. The short of it is that he will eventually only have one kidney. We have known about it since he was in utero and have had to meet with a pediatric nephrologist each year. Part of the diagnosis is that my son cannot play contact sports. He cannot play football (fine by me) or soccer, and cannot take part in wrestling, or hockey. It has become an issue recently because his cousins are very active in all sports. He went to his cousin's wrestling tournament (kid is 5) and came home ecstatic shouting from the rooftops how he was going to become a wrestler. Which of course can never happen.
My dilemma has always been this. I knew there would come a time when the boy demanded that he played a sport. I also knew there would come a time when I would have to talk to him about his superhero kidney (what they call his remaining kidney). I guess I just didn't realize it would be so soon.
We were watching the Olympics. Speedskating was about to start and I was about to change the channel. The boy walked it the room and demanded to know why those big guys were in ice skates. Were they gonna play hockey he wondered? I told him no, they were going to race really fast and the first one to the finish line would be the winner. His eyes exploded with interest as he took a seat besides me. We watched the race and as the first skater crossed the finish line he looked up at me and said 'mom, I want to be a champion in skating speed.' I told him it was called speedskating and he could start tomorrow.
We went online to learn more about speedskating and I found out that there is an actual speedskating club in our very own town. We went to the community center to check out the rink and the boy was all smiles as he watched the skaters glide on the ice rink. I immediately signed him up for Snowplow Sam I: an intro to ice skating.
Yesterday was his first class.
At first he was unsure. The shiny sharp blade attached to his feet made him apprehensive...at first.
Within moments that apprehension was gone. The boy could walk with blades.
He walked and walked until class began. Then it was time to show the world what this little man was made of.
The ice enthralled him. He began to move at once. Not a glimpse of fear in his eyes. Not a tear for the falls. I had never seen him embrace something so completely.
A passion was born and I was lucky enough to watch.
I will never forget the day I was a part of my son's future. As we left the rink, he looked up at me and said 'Mommy, will you watch me on TV when I'm at the 'lympics?' Of course my love, of course.