Osgood-Schlatter Disease—hard to pronounce, eh? Have you ever heard of it? My husband had it when he was younger and he grew very fast. This is very prominent in young adolescent boys. As his bones grew rapidly, his large tendon on the front of his knee couldn’t keep up with his bone. It is a painful disease and usually eliminates sports for most patients for about a year due to the pain. My husband still has two large bumps in the front of his knees as a reminder of this painful time of his fast growth spurt.
My son is now in early stages of his growth spurt, and having a kinesiology background I’ve been promoting him to stretch now, so that when he does take his spurt he will not witness the pain that his father had to experience.
Each night, my daughter quickly volunteers to put him through the yoga stretches that I have my gymnasts trained to do each night. As I watch him stretch, I find myself chuckling because compared to my gymnasts, he is extremely rigid and tight. It’s actually quite comical to watch. I’m not accustomed to watching unbendable people, plus the moans, groans and terrifying screeches of pain add to the entertainment.
In attempts to not have our child go through the same pain that his father had to burden with this disease, I think about how most parents want more for their children than they had and do not want them to suffer the pain they experienced through their own life trials. Are you like that? Maybe you want your child to go to university, because you never had the chance. Are you protective of your child and dating because of what you experience in your youth? I’m sure we all do it. Overcompensate in an area to make up for what we experienced in our trials that we don’t want our children to experience.
In all honesty, just like I am trying to make my son more flexible to prevent his future pain, we all have to learn to be more flexible with life. We have to realize that learning how to bend we actually become stronger. You think I’m crazy! Think about it! Being more flexible in anything is beneficial. I know that my flexible gymnasts definitely reap their benefits, as I am sure is true in most sports. I was taught in kinesiology that the more range of motion around a joint the less likely it is to be subject to injury.
The same holds true for life. If you are rigid with the way you see things, life gets harder. When people won’t conform to what you want, you get stressed out. Sometimes we feel that our way is the only way and we don’t want to bend out of our way of thinking. Instead of bending ourselves, we try to bend others into seeing things our way. Doing what we want, living how we want—I guess it’s called “having control issues” maybe?
How many wives have tried to change their husbands? Be honest ladies! I know I have! Did it work for me? Nope—but you have to know my husband. Now that we’ve been together 16 years, looking back I am glad he didn’t let me change who he is. Who wants to rob someone of their personality?
I will admit my attempts to try to change him lead to a road of bitterness, heartache and stress, but whose fault was that? My own. I knew who he was when I married him, and loved him for who he was then. I have learned over time that by bending myself for my husband, he has also learned to bend for me. We are both learning to be flexible and bend for each other.
The same holds true with my children, and parenting. I’m learning to bend with the personality of my child. I don’t want to rob my children of who they are either. I’m here to teach them right from wrong, and raise them to be productive members of society one day, but I want them to be who they are, not who I want them to be.
Ephesians 2:10 explains, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God prepared all of us beforehand, he doesn’t want you trying to change things—not that you could if you wanted to, only God has the power to change people.
You have to give me an “A” for effort in trying to override the power of the Great Divine, but at the time I was young and uneducated in the purpose of marriage in God’s eyes. I’m still learning to be flexible myself. Just like my tight, basketball; volleyball; soccer; golf; baseball playing boy who is hitting his prime growth period, I’m growing in my walk with God.
My husband still has bumps on his knees to show a time in his life when his tendons weren’t flexible enough for the growth his body was taking. Be smart and be flexible in your growth, before you have scars in your life too. Stop resisting what is going to happen anyway, because life is out of your control. Relax and let your spirituality grow, and learn to be all that you have been created to be! It’s quite a ride!