First of all, look at the little monster that showed up on our front porch the other day. I tried to make R2-D2 ride him (or is this R3-S6?), but the bug’s shell was too slick. He looks so cool and huge! Jeremy said that this is a dung beetle and that led to a very long, descriptive conversation about poop.Secondly, practice started for tackle football, which meant we had to return Jeremy’s helmet and pads from spring practice so another player could use them. It was bittersweet. Since we hadn’t formally explained Jeremy’s withdrawal, the coach wasted no time asking why he couldn’t play. I told him that Jeremy was born with a hearing deficit and his audiology reports haven’t changed in ten years – until now. After being sent to Children’s Hospital to see a specialist and get a CT scan, it was confirmed that he’s suffered a significant hearing loss in one ear during the last year. The consensus is that it’s on account of tackle football – emphasis on tackle.
After this lengthy explanation, the coach tilted his head, shifted his feet, and asked, “Well can he wear ear plugs?”
Hmm. I bit my lip.
“No,” I said gently. “This isn’t an auditory issue. It’s anatomical. It’s structural. From the tackling, you know.”
He nodded, then said, “Did a doctor tell you this?”
“Yes,” I said more gently. “We went to Children’s. He had a CT scan.”
“Cause, you know, some doctors tell you not to let your kids play football, but sports doctors don’t say that.”
“No, this is a legitimate reason. It’s not worth risking his hearing even more.”
“No, of course not,” he said, surrendering. “I was just looking forward to having him on my team.”
I appreciated his concern. He’s lost a passionate, hard-working player. No doubt he’s disappointed.
But ear plugs? Really? Bless him.