Our daughter got a mild concussion yesterday at school. Over four years that our kids have been at Trinity College School I think my wife and I always expected that the email from the school that they had our child in the medical centre being assessed for concussion would relate to our son. But no.A pre-breakfast moment of limbo hijinks resulted in Taylor falling and hitting her head on the ground and activating a most impressive protection process by the school medical staff.
When I was a kid an impact to the head and any resulting dizziness or headaches were just a part of life and not given much attention unless seriously debilitating. Times have changed for the better. In large part this is due to the awareness of the cumulative effect of head injuries in sports such as American / Canadian football and rugby. For an excellent insight into the long-term nature of repetitive head injury, I can recommend the film Concussion, starring Will Smith. The protocols that have been established over the years for injuries on-field have been extended to the wider campus, and it is impressive.
Within minutes of this accident, Taylor had been taken to the school medical centre where she completed a Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT3) test, the result of which indicated she was experiencing 19 of the possible 22 symptoms. With this result, the school immediately instituted their head injury protocol which includes close monitoring in the health centre on day one, and a daily repeat of the SCAT3 test until she is symptom-free. She was also immediately banned from all screens including phone screens, which for a teen meant immediately assigning a friend to keep her Snapchat streaks going. Priorities! When the test results are normal (hopefully soon), the school then institutes its Return to Learn programme with respect to classes and school work missed while on screen restriction. This involves the active participation of the Academic Support Office at the school in a holistic approach to bringing the student back up to academic ‘speed’ after pulling them back 100% to allow the brain to recover from the injury.
A few months ago I shelled out a few dollars to support the most recent literary project of Seth Godin. The book is called ‘What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn)’. He described the book as an experiment (he’s kind of known for experiments), and more importantly he has described it as a book he wants shared with others. When it showed up in my post box there were five copies, not the three I had ordered. That was the bonus that was mentioned when I ordered back in early December, 2014. The bonus is intended to help buyers, particularly the early recipients of the book, share the message of the book with others. What is it about?
Basically, Seth Godin thinks we are wasting the chance of a lifetime. The book, in his words, is “an urgent call to do the work we’re hiding from, a manifesto about living with things that might not work and embracing tension when doing your art.” It continues his long term theme of embracing the tension, knowing that the anxiety before a decision is risk feedback and a visceral call to do great things. Mainly, it is a continuation of his manifesto to ‘ship’ your work. Realize that perfection is the enemy of productivity.
My house is on lockdown. My daughter just became a teenager. Only the latter of these comments is true, but thinking of the years ahead perhaps a lockdown may not be the worst of ideas. Then again, I think things are probably going to be OK.
I have been secretly dreading this day, and I think deep down most dads feel the same way. Turning 13 really is a number that signifies change in a way that no other age does.
Change from the little girl who wanted to dance on your feet at parties into a young lady with a mischievous streak that now takes great joy in tickling my tummy.
Did you make it past my last post on the Chromebook? Not my best blogging moment at all, but I wrote it because of a conversation over Christmas, and it resulted in a great conversation this past weekend. Read on.
It’s no secret that I have struggled with my writing lately. Lately being, oh, the last several months. I had a weekly goal to publish my ‘musings’ and I started to slip. A skipped week easily becomes months of no posts.
Over Christmas I was at a party with good friends. Kids dashed everywhere, friends who had not seen each other in a long while caught up with each other. It was a perfectly lovely evening. As I wandered about I started chatting with a lawyer friend. Well, in reality he started chatting with me.
“Why don’t you write your blog anymore?” I really did not know what to say, eventually stammered out something like, “You know about my blog?” My friend said that, yes, he was a subscriber, that he liked my take on things, my writing ‘voice’, and that he had noticed that it had been a while since I had written a post. I was floored. I had no idea that some of what I said here had an impact in a positive or thought-provoking way with anyone, and certainly if it did I never thought it important enough that it would be noticed if I stopped a while. I left inspired to write.
This weekend I am in Canada with my family. We are here visiting with my son, Ryan, who is in boarding school at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario. This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and we really do have much to be thankful for.
The past six weeks have been particularly hard on my wife. She has been good about keeping her emotion on Ryan leaving for school under the wraps, but it is the little things that leave her teary eyed, and I can tell its hard. Little things like no bass coming from his stereo turned up too high in the morning. Little things like the daily, “Whats for dinner, mommy?”
But an instant takes that all away, or at least puts it in perspective. And in that instant we were so thankful for the ability to support our son in his education and growth from a boy to a man. That instant happened with the wonderful reunion of mom and son at the school on Thursday, followed by all of us chatting with several of his new friends. I think you have to be a parent to fully appreciate the feeling you get watching your son hug his mom and all the love that conveys. I believe you must have the memories of a baby held in arms to fully sense the maturity that has accelerated so much in the past six weeks as we chatted with such a diverse and wonderfully confident group of young people who are now friends at Trinity. This really is something to give thanks for.