A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?
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Con Air Causes Deep Thinking


So I’m sitting here watching the film……. God, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this……. Con Air………… And the biggest shock, not only am I enjoying it (I’m in the right frame of mind for mindless, action crap) but it’s also making me think.

So as you may or may not know, Nicholas Cage is the hero of the film. He gets sent down for murder 3 months before his daughter was born. The first few minutes of the film is a talk-over of his letters to her and vice versa (obviously once she was old enough to write) and this is the part that got me thinking.

I’ve spent a lot more time in the last few days with Shannon (my daughter) than usual (lack of training on my part) and it’s been wonderful. She’s becoming such a character and seems to be becoming a right little daddy’s girl.

And seeing this scene in the film got me wondering how I’d feel about hearing of my daughter growing up without me being there. Already in this 7 months I’ve watched her grow from being a crying, shitting, eating blob to a hilarious, inquisitive, intelligent child. So much has happened and it would break my heart to think of missing any of it. Hell, the first time she crawled, I missed it by 1 hour due to being at work (luckily my wife managed to film it for me) and I was devastated! Sod missing 10 years!

Still, you break the law……..

My Parenting Fear


I’m slightly concerned.

My wife gave birth to my baby girl last Wednesday. I’m over the moon! I totally love my little angel. I’ve always thought I’d make a good dad. Now I’m not so sure.

I love my little girl. She’s absolutely perfect. She only cries for food and nappy change. But when she cries, I feel powerless. Sure I change her nappy and wind her, but I can’t feed her (we’re breast-feeding). And at the moment, all she does is feed. I feel quite helpless as I don’t want to burden my wife with everything but what can I do?!

I’m worried my frustration will effect my relationship with my daughter. I know it’s only a matter of time before we can express milk so I can feed her and she’ll soon become more active, but I really feel like I’m struggling.

My wife, bless her, is being a rock. None of this baby blues for her. She’s loving being a mum, handling the feeds with ease, not getting stressed at all, looks fantastic and is sleeping well (true, baby is helping by only waking two times a night so far). She’s trying to comfort me by saying I’ll be happier once I can feed her.

I love being a dad. I was holding her earlier and my heart just filled with love for her. I just hope my inadequacies don’t have an adverse effect on my bond with her. All I want is for her to love and be a daddy’s girl.

Terrified I’ll Be A Failure


As you know, I’m due to be a dad in about 2 weeks. I’m getting so excited at the prospect! True, I’m going to be losing the freedom to go out whenever I want, have lie in’s and chill when I get home, but it’ll be worth it every time I pick up that small baby and look into my child’s eyes.

But I’m also petrified I’m going to mess everything up.

I’ve recently started a new job and I’m loving it. The pace is just right (could do with being a bit busier) to keep me interested, the people are great and the company seems to be going in the right direction. But I’ve got a terrible feeling it’s not going to last. I e-mailed my boss yesterday asking if she was happy with me etc. etc. and I’ve had no reply as yet. I don’t think I’ve given her any reason not to be happy, but I’m so worried that at the end of my probation (another 3 months) she’ll just turn round and say “sorry, it’s not working out”. How will I support my family then? In a recession and a new baby………

To be honest, this is my main concern. Without being too bigheaded, I think I’ll be a fantastic dad. I’m not huge on babies, but I think I’ll be just fine in caring and looking after it and as it grows, I will enjoy teaching it and watching it grow and I’m much better with toddlers and children than babies.

I just hope that my child doesn’t grow up and turn round one day and think I’m a disappointment or I’ve failed them in some way. I have a kind of relationship with my dad like this (I don’t think he supported me as much as he should have during my teens) and I hope my child NEVER thinks like that. But if I lose my job and can’t provide for my family, then that is exactly what I am. A failure and disappointment to my wife and child.

Being a Protective Parent


Fatherhood is looming for me. My wife is expecting to give birth in the next 7 weeks and to tell you the truth, I’ve not thought about it a great deal. Thats not to say I’m not over the moon, but I’m not the sort of person who gets all emotional very easily.

That being said, I have started to worry about my unborn child.

It started the other night when I watched an episode of Glee in which they had a disabled character appear as Sue’s big sister. I’ve known people with Downs syndrome and other disabilities and it’s never been a problem for me. I believe that with love and support, everyone can lead a normal life. But it worried me. I felt the first twang of a worried parent. What if my child was born disabled in some kind? Then I rationalised that, although be EXTREMELY difficult, it wouldn’t change a thing of how much I’d love and support it. I guess every parent feels this way and it was strange knowing the feeling of wanting to protect my child for the first time!

I thought nothing of it, an emotional blip on my radar of hard-bastardness and put it down to being tired. But then it happened again this morning.

I receive an e-mail everyday from the BBC with the day’s headlines (an e-paper I like to think of it) and the main story was of the re-imprisonment of Jon Venables, one of the evil duo who brutally murdered James Bulger back in 93 (apologies to non-UK readers). It appears the scum has been returned to prison on “breach of his license”.

Basically, for those international readers, back in 93 two 10-year-old boys abducted a 2-year-old toddler from a shopping centre in Liverpool, took him to a set of train tracks and brutally murdered him using metal bars and bricks. They were sentenced to life but were released in 2001 (got to love our justice system), given new names and identities and got to live out the rest of their lives in secret (even speeding fines get put on your record, not these scum).

So now he’s back where he belongs (albeit it on a technicality, but that’s how they caught Capone!). I doubt he’ll be there long. Those sort of bastards always manage to survive and live. But it did make me feel so terrible for poor James’s mother. Not only was her son taken from her and murdered in such a barbaric way, but she has to live with the knowledge that her sons killers are free. Part of their license is they are not allowed anywhere near Merseyside, but how can this be policed? That poor mother lives with the knowledge she could bump into her sons killers at any time and be face to face with evil.

Midway reading the piece, my stomach sank. What if I ever lost my child? A brief moment of fear spread through me and the parental feeling of protect came over me. It was a strange feeling. I’ve never cared that much about anything before, but I knew for a brief moment, that I’d do anything to protect my own.

I’m sure these feelings will get stronger and it feels so alien to a self-proclaimed “cold heart emotional retard” to feel this passionately about anything. Feels quite nice though.