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Reflections on being an the parent of ripping kids...

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Reflections on being an the parent of ripping kids...

I know that a bunch of you have met and skied with Blaze, so I wanted to post it here...

Well sometimes they go down. We had a pretty big day in the McDonald household yesterday. My son Blaze, age 10, went down on a bike yesterday- off the Richter Scale. He is pretty banged up.

My wife and I are having a hard time with it. It broke some teeth and has a A+ case of road rash- with much on his on his face. What really aggravates me is that a clueless neighborhood kid brought him down- in a moderately aggressive fashion. It wasn't even Blaze's wheels, it was some piece of shit K-Mart bike.

Blaze is taking it pretty well. We are going to the dentist this morning. I have a few pictures I took for the family trophy case (an special album with wrecks and spills), but there is nothing like this.

Blaze at 10 y/o, has skied 3 100+ day seasons in his life, with one of those seasons being entirely at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He is a great kid and a super son. He is a tremendous skier and an incredible athlete.

Yesterday I felt culpable as I was the one who hooked him on these activities. Today that horrible feeling has gone away- somewhat. I mean what if one of the kids gets really hurt?

Thoughts from the parents here?
post #2 of 27
Not a parent, but I'm an enormous admirer of Blaze and your whole family. 

Please tell him I'm sorry to hear about his crash and I hope he gets well soon.  Bike crashes really suck - most of the time far worse than ski crashes.  It probably won't cheer him up any but you can tell him that I had a huge bike wreck when I was eleven.  Broke three teeth and practically scraped my nose off.  I lived through it.

On the more serious side question you're posing, I think that the joy and self-confidence that kids develop while learning outdoor skills have an enormous impact on the kind of people they grow up to be.  You can try to make sure they're as safe as possible, but learning what works (and, sometimes, what doesn't) is a critical part of the growing process.  He's a great kid and he'll be back as strong as ever.

Good luck with the recuperation.
post #3 of 27

Really sorry to hear about the teeth and th road rash, which can be as bad as the teeth.  But, bike crashes are part of bike riding, and riding a bike is one of the great things to do in life. 

 

Longer-term,  I think there is a parenting issue in terms of planning/education if a kid shows a strong interest in, e.g., DH/bike park/ etc. for bikes, with similar issues for similar pursuits on-snow or otherwise, but you ain't there yet.  Be glad he's ok, personally I'd avoid either undue positive fuss or for that matter undue recriminations towards the other kid unless this was something out of the normal course, and the good news is it sounds like his own bike is in good shape waiting for him to get back on it.

post #4 of 27
 I don't know how parents of freestyle kids do it. With them, if they're any good, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when and how bad.
post #5 of 27
post #6 of 27
 I loved it when my daughter raced and I was sad when she stopped.  But my husband's only reaction was "Thank goodness that's over with!"  There wasn't a day she raced that he didn't worry.  (Of course when I slammed into the tree it turned out when the call came it was a call he'd been expecting for over 20 years.)  I don't think it has to be your kid you're worrying about.  
But I know that if my daughter had ever been seriously hurt I would have blamed myself more than she would have blamed me.  She and I have talked about that several times now that she is in her 20's.  I think it is just part of being parents to re-think every little decision you make, no matter which way you make it.  I certainly blame my parents for STOPPING me from climbing trees after I turned 12 because little "ladies" didn't climb trees.  Consequently, I always told my daughter the full risks of each of her decisions and let her make guided decisions as she got older.  The whole process of letting them take risks or not letting them take risks has its own risks.  If you don't let them take risks it impacts their lives as well in other ways, maybe not physically but in terms of emotional growth.  You'll only know which decisions were right if you're still alive when they are 50.
post #7 of 27
We just got back this morning from the Road Nationals in Bend Oregon where she has been racing all week.  This year she raced in the girls 13-14 age group (she is 13).  She was basically riding as a domestique for one of the older girls on the team, chasing down breakaways and setting a fast tempo to help drop one of the girls that is a very good sprinter.  The strategy worked perfectly in the road race and Zoe won the national championship.  It looked to be working well in the crit also, but one of the girls no one was watching took a flyer on the last lap, causing the favorites to put in a big chase that messed up their strategy.  Zoe still wound up third.  Dommie got cut off in the sprint and wound up ninth.

It just amazes me to see the hard work and dedication these young girls (and boys) put into this sport.  It is so good for them as they can see how all of that hard work ends up paying dividends.

Quote:
post #8 of 27
I didn't read this whole thread before I sent my last reply.  Kids are tough, you wouldn't believe the wrecks some our (and my) kids have been through.  On a training ride a couple of months ago Dommie was messing with ther computer magnet on her front fork and her hand was caught in the spokes, causing her to get ejected off the bike and land face first on the street.  That resulted in an ambulance ride the the hospital and a long evening in the emergency room (she lost a tooth, had 10 stitches in her mouth and a mild concussion).  The only thing she kept asking me was if she could still do the Spring Century (a club century ride with around 6,000 feet of climbing) that weekend.  She did it and finished.  Kids are a lot tougher than adults are, and will generally bounce back from this type of incident much faster than we would, especially if we don't make a huge production out of it.

As to feeling horrible, don't.  The worst danger facing our kids today, and we see it big time here in the south, is obese kids, who get no exercise at all and spend their lives watching TV and playing video games.  Their demise may not be fast and furious, but it is certain and miserable.  Life is full of risks, but taking reasonable risks to be healthy and fit and have fun while doing it is far better than taking the certain but long term risks of an inactive and sedentary lifestyle.  Put him back on his bike and let him rip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post

Reflections on being an the parent of ripping kids...

I know that a bunch of you have met and skied with Blaze, so I wanted to post it here...

Well sometimes they go down. We had a pretty big day in the McDonald household yesterday. My son Blaze, age 10, went down on a bike yesterday- off the Richter Scale. He is pretty banged up.

My wife and I are having a hard time with it. It broke some teeth and has a A+ case of road rash- with much on his on his face. What really aggravates me is that a clueless neighborhood kid brought him down- in a moderately aggressive fashion. It wasn't even Blaze's wheels, it was some piece of shit K-Mart bike.

Blaze is taking it pretty well. We are going to the dentist this morning. I have a few pictures I took for the family trophy case (an special album with wrecks and spills), but there is nothing like this.

Blaze at 10 y/o, has skied 3 100+ day seasons in his life, with one of those seasons being entirely at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He is a great kid and a super son. He is a tremendous skier and an incredible athlete.

Yesterday I felt culpable as I was the one who hooked him on these activities. Today that horrible feeling has gone away- somewhat. I mean what if one of the kids gets really hurt?

Thoughts from the parents here?
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the kind words.

After seeing the x-rays, the dentist was worried there was a broken jaw. We had a worried ride across town as we thought his jaw may have to be wired shut. Not the case. The maxillofacial surgeon said that all is well and said Blaze escaped major injury by his "chinny chin chin".

We're very thankful about that. Whew that was a relief!

Still I'm a little shaken.
post #10 of 27
I feel your gut-wrentching pain when you see your child get hurt.  I would guess that Blaze is probably trying to make you feel better even though he is the one that is physically hurt.  That is what is so great about self-less kids over selfish adults.  I hope that he recovers quickly...as do you.
post #11 of 27
 So glad to hear he is OK.  These incidents are so much harder on us parents than the kids.  I know that ambulance ride was the worst thing I have ever been through, she was just worried about if our insurance would pay for it (funny thing for a 13 year old to worry about).

He will rebound and be back at it in no time.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Kids are awesome!

Blaze is up and running.  He looks pretty rough, but his spirits are high.  We have been hunkered down all afternoon watching movies- except for the injury- we're having a great time.  The three old Star Wars are just great.  I've learned to be thankful in all things, so I'm thankful I've gotten to enjoy some down time with Blaze and Hans Solo.
post #13 of 27
Glad to hear it's not as bad as it could have been.  I wish I would have met your kids when I was in Jackson for the gathering...from all accounts, they sound amazing.  I definitely worry about my daughter as she gets to be a better skier what she will start to try to do...or worse, if she would have a freak accident.  And with my son getting into it now too, one more to worry about.  I imagine I'd feel especially guilty since it will definitely be on me that they have any interest in these activities at such a young age.  But as others refer to above, the risks of experiencing real fun and adventure certainly beat the "safety" (questionable when you consider the obesity factor) of kids who sit around and watch TV all day.
post #14 of 27
As a parent of 3, know exactly where you are coming from.  Sounds like he will heal fine, but it is so scary! 

As a parent of the boy what is even scarier.....................Chicks Dig It!  

Good Luck
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post

Kids are awesome!

Blaze is up and running.  He looks pretty rough, but his spirits are high.  We have been hunkered down all afternoon watching movies- except for the injury- we're having a great time.  The three old Star Wars are just great.  I've learned to be thankful in all things, so I'm thankful I've gotten to enjoy some down time with Blaze and Hans Solo.
Mmmmm, watch movies you must. 



The force is strong with this one. Get well soon you will. 
post #16 of 27
My kids, 5 and 6.5 years old, haven't had that bad wreck yet.  But, as much as it will hurt me too I feel it is important that kids realize their mortality by having a bad one to know their limits.  I know you are blaming the equipment and the other kid, but regardless of the cause kids need to realize how serious "leisure activities" can be if you're not careful and sometimes even when you are.  Blaze has now survived that milestone with a few battle scars to prove it.

BTW, my bad bike wreck happened at about age 7 when at the bottom of a small hill I popped a wheelie and lost my front wheel  A neighbor saw it and came out and brought me inside then the called the police/fire department.  I don't remember much of anything other than seeing my wheel rolling away and going over the bars.

Wishing a speedy recovery
post #17 of 27
 Did you get to see Dr. Stern?  I like Michael, but hate having work done in my mouth.  Blaze will be fine and maybe will learn a little cheap mortality.
post #18 of 27
Stephen,
I've never felt worse in my life than I did when something happened, be it an accident or perceived injustice to either of my children. I know my Dad worried about his children as he was on his death bed at 80. Everything is just so magnified, and, you have no power to correct it.

Kids have remarkable recuperative power and it sounds like he's in recovery, so, time will be his friend.

A friend who lost a child in a car accident said to me "Just go home, hug your kids and tell them that you love them". Help him and his sisters make good decisions.

So, I'll see and ski with both of you in January! I remember how supportive you were during my injury in JH this past winter, and, your kindness was deeply appreciated. Your a good person, and, I think Blaze may be just like his Dad.

Love to all
Mike
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
So, I'll see and ski with both of you in January!
 

I'm looking forward to it! 

Philpug: Thanks for posting that great picture of Blaze and me.  Made my day.

Lets plan a party (good 'ole fashioned ski season party) at our place while you guys are in town.

tetonpwdrjunkie:  Dr. Stern was great!  Again, we had a rough 45 minutes between appts., but all is well.  He didn't charge us or anything (he found out I was a bootfitter @ the Village) & even wrote a prescription N/C.

Finn: Great to talk with you on the phone (minutes ago!)  It's a deal- we're having a party @ our house while you guys are here.  Have fun in Chile & think about coming out in Sept/Oct for some riding- best two months of the year!





Edited by Skiing-in-Jackson - 8/5/2009 at 06:56 pm GMT
post #20 of 27
 You let Blaze hang out with the likes of Finn and Pug?  THAT is where you should question your parenting!!!


 

 

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 You let Blaze hang out with the likes of Finn and Pug?  THAT is where you should question your parenting!!!

 

 


Yeah, I've thought about that myself...

But I keep the three of 'em on a pretty short leash!
post #22 of 27
Stephen,

Glad to hear that Blaze is on the mend.

I remember last year, picking up HB Jr. from football pratice (after he had blown out his knee) and the first thing he said was "Dad, Sorry I got hurt."  Geesh.  Kind of makes you feel pretty small.

....Football starts Monday......

Anyway, after a visit to a well known orthpaedic surgeon over in Jackson, months on crutches, several knee braces, time spinning on the bike, etc., HB Jr was able to ski last winter.

Kids are pretty tough and they will heal.

Be thankful for all the experiences you have and will have.

HB
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post




Yeah, I've thought about that myself...

But I keep the three of 'em on a pretty short leash!

 

WOOF!
post #24 of 27
 Yea Sept and Oct are the best 2 months in a lot of ways.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post

Yesterday I felt culpable as I was the one who hooked him on these activities. Today that horrible feeling has gone away- somewhat. I mean what if one of the kids gets really hurt?

Copy on that one!

Being the parent of three kids 20, 14 & 13 / ski, snowboard, ski jumping, MT bike, football...And having injury along with all of them, I have felt the same way. 

Not being involved is much more harmful then bumps and bruises including a few trips to the ER, if you aren't pushing them beyond their limits or putting them in direct harms way, you are doing a good job.

Thoughts go out to the little one and remember, if you didn't worry, you wouldn't be a very good parent.
post #26 of 27
 Hi Stephen.

 

I’ve not visited Epic much since my season ended some months ago, and was distressed to read your original post regarding Blaze’s recent misfortune.

 

Having read some of your more recent posts, I’m very pleased to learn that his jaw was not broken, and that he should be healing up just fine and back in the saddle again. Please give the young man my best wishes for a rapid recovery.

 

In your original post you stated your concern regarding your culpability for Blaze’s injury, and for all of your children’s well being as regards their active lives. You asked any parents to chime in with their comments so here goes:

 

Having met and skied with Blaze and Liberty, I think that you should consider yourself fortunate to have helped to raise two such delightful, considerate, determined, dedicated, upbeat children. I think that it is a blessing that Blaze has the natural physical gifts to pursue sports and to perform well. More important though, he seems to truly enjoy his athletic endeavors, and I’d be loath to stifle his growth and joy by becoming over protective of his efforts. I believe that you have done your children a great service by introducing them to activities that they have grown to love, and that you are beating yourself up needlessly by holding yourself accountable for Blaze’s accident. Face it, now that he knows about the joys of skiing, biking, and various other active pursuits, he’d be mighty upset if Mom and Dad decided that it was time to put the kibosh on his participation.

 

I think that you give people a great gift when you introduce them to anything, (well maybe not crack or crystal meth,) which can become a passion. You help to make their lives much more exciting, vital, adventurous, rewarding, and fulfilling. It just so happens that one of the potential prices that we must pay for some of our activities is the very real possibility of injury. So be it. Most of the posters on this forum understand the chances that we take by deciding to ski, and are more than willing to live with our choices. “It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

 

Having spent a day on the mountain with you, Blaze, and Liberty, I was supremely impressed not only with your children’s athleticism and enthusiasm, but with their mountain savvy, seeming grasp of The Code, common courtesy and plain good sense regarding the mountain and the other folks on the hill. All people are capable of making some astonishingly bone-headed moves, but it seems that you’ve established some very solid parameters for your children, and have introduced them to the sport in the classiest and most responsible manner. As they grow, they’ll build on this foundation, and continue to grow at their own rates.

 

As a father, I taught Bazzer Jr. to swim at a very young age. (As soon as he could drool, I introduced him to the water. Understand though that I live near many bodies of water and I consider watermanship to be an essential life skill in this environment.) By inventing games and challenges for him we had him drown proofed before he was two, and he was skin diving by the time he was three. After that point, I gave him his head, and allowed him to progress as he saw fit. (He’s been a certified SCUBA diver for a few years now, and as a 16 year old this summer; he’s been working his first full time job as a lifeguard.)

 

Unlike Blaze, Bazzer Jr. is not a particularly gifted natural athlete. He is however almost boundlessly enthusiastic and has been getting by pretty well on determination and hard work. Of course, I’d love for B. Jr. to be a star, but I’m perhaps even more proud of any of his accomplishments because I know how much effort he puts in to any success that he earns. Aside from insisting that he learn to swim, I have never pushed my son into any sport. It has however been my pleasure to introduce him to some sports and I’m thrilled when he takes a shine to one. He and I have been playing catch with my old lacrosse sticks for a few years, but I was flabbergasted last spring when Jr. was a starter at attack as a sophomore on his school’s varsity team. He’s one of the lightest guys on the team and took his fair share of lumps, but he loves playing the game and being part of a team. Since his first participation in organized sport, I’ve left him with this mantra prior to any game, practice, or ski lesson: "Pay attention, try your best, and have fun."

 

My point is that despite the fact that Jr. isn’t likely to be a champion, he enjoys a number of athletic endeavors mightily, and his life is much better than it would be without those activities. He’s taken some lumps, broken a few bones, and had some stitches. He considers these injuries as par for the course, (though he would of course prefer to avoid them,) and is content to accept that risk in exchange for the exhilaration. Of course, I’ve dreaded the trips that we’ve taken to an ER, and would gladly change places with my son when he gets hurt. That’s part of being a loving parent. But I cannot honestly blame myself or my wife for any injury that he has sustained.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for an excellent and thoughtful post.  It puts me at rest.  Well, I've been pretty relaxed for the past few days.  Blaze is looking better by the day.  Today we went into Yellowstone to see my mother in law who drove over from Cody.  It was a nice family day after a hectic week. 

It amazes me how fast children heal. 

Your words are gracious. 

Are you going to make it this January?  This January Gathering is getting bigger and more fun each year- we need you here!
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