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As I sit writing this, my daughter’s gymnastics team is at a meet, a meet that my daughter hasn’t missed since level 2. It is a bittersweet moment because she is recovering from an injury and can go back to gymnastics but can’t perform for some time.
Do you ever feel the guilt weighing in on you heavily? Those nagging questions that linger in at night the should’ve, could’ve and would’ve questions? I do, those questions haunted me at night for months.
When the doctor told my daughter that she couldn’t do gymnastics for some time I took the blame. It was one of those things that I felt I should have protected my daughter from but didn’t. I felt that I failed as a mother.
From 5 months we were home,grieving something that was part of our lives for so long. We knew she would go back but the thought that it was my fault depressed me. I disconnected myself from the gymnastics world. I wasn’t jealous of anyone, but I wasn’t part of that life anymore and felt as I didn’t belong.
After 5 months we got the green light to go back. Neither my daughter and I were elated as I thought we would be. I think for the most part we got comfortable hanging out with the family, not having to rush anywhere and coming home late after practice. I knew she was happy to be back, but I also could see that she was also uncomfortable going back, as if she didn’t belong with them anymore.
She has gone back to gymnastics 3 times a week, but I know something has changed in both of us, our enthusiasm, our passion, our commitment is different. I have sat down with her since the last practice and reminded her that giving up gymnastics isn’t failing. Knowing when to stop or quit takes courage and determination. The one thing I always remind her is that she is my daughter first and a gymnast second and that I love her because she is my daughter not because she is a gymnast.