The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moving On

Last night was my, and more importantly, OYS's, last scholastic hockey game, the varsity championship. Sadly, it did not end well, at least not for OYS's team. It was a disappointing end (3-1 loss) to a spectacular hockey run, both his own and his team's.

(Since 7th grade, OYS's teams have been to 5 championship games in 6 years, have won 4 of them and, amazingly, have lost only 5 games, including last night's. Total.)

(While equally sad for OYS, I think MHW is grateful to the One Above that our two sons played 9 years of scholastic hockey and they and all their teammates came away essentially injury free).

I'm not really here to talk about the game. (It was a really good, intense game and OYS went out in style, playing heroically (he played about 2/3 of the game) and making a pass on the team's only goal that defies description (I hope someone has it on video)).

Instead, I have a few wandering thoughts. MHW and I are grateful to his school for providing an important outlet for OYS and his friends to channel their athletic skills. They take sports very seriously and I think that's a good thing. (The chareidi schools could take a lesson from this). I am grateful to his coachfor whom both MHW and I have great respect and admiration. More important than being a great coach, he has been a great role model for OYS and the boys. I am grateful to his assistant coach who has taught the boys what it means to be passionate.

I am grateful to the parents, so many of whom went out of their ways to make sure to attend games and support the boys. We have all become a part of the club.

I am grateful to the boys. They played with skill and determination. They comported themselves with humility and dignity and class. That is not a small thing when you have been as good as they have been for so long. I am glad that OYS has been able to share the special bond that only comes with being a teammate.

And, of all the boys, I have to say that I will miss one, the goalie, YN, more than all the others. YN was a quiet warrior who exemplified everything good about being a student-athlete. I am happy that OYS and YN are on their ways to the Mother Ship together.

And, finally, a note to OYS. OYS has been a superior athlete from the time he could walk. (At kiddy-soccer I was known as OYS's dad.) When he started to follow in the footsteps of OOS and picked up hockey, it was clear that he was special. (Luckily, he ignored my advice to play right handed; I couldn't understand why a righty would play left handed). And, he has gotten better and better every single year. He has thrilled us and entertained us. We have had loads of fun watching him amid lots of anxiety (I much more than he).

But what made us most proud was that he was always a good kid on the court, a mensch. He never yelled at refs, he never lost his temper. He never bragged or flaunted his talent. He knew how good he was but kept it to himself. He was a great friend and a great teammate.

And, last night, despite his great disappointment, he accepted it in stride, with the same class and dignity that he displayed when he won. He is growing up and he knows that in the great scheme of things it wasn't the end of the world. Accepting disappointment is part of growing up and OYS did it graciously.

So, it's time to move on. I will miss all this.

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