Until my tomboy daughter took up roller derby at the late great age of 18. After years of braces, corrective shoes and us nurturing her into a healthy young women, she went and joined the rowdiest sport she could think of. For the last year and a half, I have watched her bouts with one eye closed, praying the whole time she wouldn't fall and knock out some teeth or break a bone. It wasn't until recently that I could actually watch with both eyes open and cheer with great spirit. I had started to relax a little. Not much, but a little. And then, in an out of town bout this past weekend, she fell and took a skate to the face. She scraped her face, bruised the area just below her eye and busted the inside of her lip.
She was darn lucky she didn't lose an eye or some teeth. And yet, she is thrilled with her darkening eye. It's a badge of honor in her world. A sign of toughness.
I guess all those times she came home from preschool with ripped tights and busted knees were a precursor to all of this roller derby business, but I sure didn't see it comin' at this age. And after this weekend, I'm back to worryin'. And watching with one eye closed. Maybe two. Aye, yi, yi. Is this why they invented vodka?