little league baseballWhat do you do when your child gets hurt while doing the thing he or she loves the most? How do you react when your child’s life is altered forever in a single moment of complete random bad luck?

Earlier this summer a 13-year-old pitcher, Ryan Steen, took a line drive hit to the eye during a baseball game that left him completely blind in his left eye.

Despite that, Steen joined the basketball team this fall and is celebrating what he can accomplish rather than what he can no longer do. His parents look at his injury as a great life lesson to what he can accomplish and overcome -- to turn a negative into a positive.

As parents, how do we determine what is too dangerous for our children to do and what is safe? Do we weigh the possible outcomes -- because really everything we do can be dangerous. Or do we simply let them do what they love within reason?

We teach our children to do their best and work hard at what they love but how do we teach them to have perspective and not be afraid when the thing they love the most hurts/damages them? How do we maintain perspective? Is it even possible?

I think the Steen family is pretty amazing. If it were me, I’d probably have taken my child home and never let him play another sport ever again. Hell, I’m not sure I’d let him back outside alone once he’d gone blind from a rogue ball to the eye and God knows that baseball games would probably be out for life. I just don’t think I could step back and remind myself that it was a random accident and that we can all get hurt at any moment, sitting in our living room watching television. Life is random.

As parents we want to protect our children from ever feeling pain and when something bad happens to your child, it scares you to know that we are all so vulnerable. But to be a good parent we have to encourage our child to move past it, even when our own heart forbids it.

Would you allow your son to play baseball again if he had taken a line drive to the eye and went blind?


Image via ANDR3W A /Flickr