(This is actually from Monday, March 26th. I was able to re-edit and put in the paragraph breaks, but now it's showing with a March 29th date.)
Just got home from the Emergency Room with The Ninja. Don't be alarmed, he should be fine.
During his sparring event at the tournament yesterday, he was hit in the left eye by his opponent. It was accidental; Ninja has been up against this boy before and he is a fair fighter. The official stopped the match and let Ninja clear his head for a few minutes before continuing. Ninja's own sensei was there, and would not have allowed him to keep fighting if it was contraindicated. Ninja went on to take first place in the event, 14-15 y.o. black belt boys' sparring. About 10 minutes later, he began complaining of a headache. Since the tournament was ending, we left to head home.
He continued to have a headache last evening, and I gave him Tylenol. This morning, he complained that his headache was worse, and his eyes were very sensitive to light. I Googled "Teenage head injuries" and from what I found on the Centers for Disease Control website, we decided to get him looked at this morning. So off he and I went to Big University Hospital. His visual acuity and tracking were OK. No eye floaters. No nausea or vomiting. No neck or back pain. No problems with his facial bones. No numbness. The light sensitivity was better than it had been. So, they said it might be the beginning of a concussion, and sent us home with instructions for rest, no sports for two days, follow up with pediatrician, take Motrin or Tylenol, come back if he gets worse. OK.
So, just another episode with an active karate kid who gets bumps and bruises, and takes punches and kicks. Perhaps we are over-protective, as The Ninja accuses us of being, but he is very precious. I don’t know how we would survive if anything happened to him. As I can’t imagine how Trayvon Martin’s parents are surviving. I know there are details yet to be explored in that case. But the fact remains; the kid who is dead was a black teenage male walking home from a convenience store, in a hoodie, with candy, a drink, and a phone in his hand, in a predominantly white neighborhood.
Just like The Ninja.
This is the extreme aspect of transracial parenting. The knowledge that our brown-skinned son, who is tall and looks older than his age, is a good citizen, a black belt, and member of the Police Explorers, could be a target for some loon who thinks he “looks suspicious” walking down the street. It strikes terror. Ever since we brought him home at the age of four, I’ve been very conscious that he is a dark-complexioned male in a white town. His school district is 97% white. It has never been an issue, as he has lots of friends, of all races. He has been called “n----r” at school, but he says it’s in jest, it doesn’t bother him, and we shouldn’t contact the school administration about it. We haven’t yet.
We have, however, been having “the talks” with him since he was little. If you’re ever stopped by police, always be respectful and don’t talk back. Keep your hands in sight. Do just what they tell you, and don’t make any sudden moves. One of the reasons I’m happy that he’s joined Police Explorers is that, as his involvement deepens, more of our local precinct officers may get to recognize and know him. And, he’s a martial artist of eight years’ standing. He knows the code of honor, that he is not to start any trouble. He has been told repeatedly by his senseis that he can defend himself if necessary. But what defense would fast hands and feet be against a trigger-happy law enforcement wannabe?
One more thing to worry about.