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

Thursday, September 11, 2008

At The Mets Game With "Judah"

Last night I attended the Mets game with our old foster child, "Judah".

(The Mets, despite the repeated efforts of their pitching staff, prevailed 123 to 120 (or so it seemed)).

Judah has been living with a family for the past two weeks (after spending the previous four plus years in residences) and seemed very happy.

Judah reminded me of the first Mets game that we went to, 9 years ago. This is what I wrote over at my other blog (which has long-since been shut down):

In August, 2000, I decided to take the boys [Judah and his brother, whom we were also fostering] to a Mets game. (This, too falls into the category of "What could I possibly have been thinking?"). Having taken our own kids to ballgames when they were little, I thought I knew what to expect, to wit, stuffing their faces with hot dogs and soda, hanging out for a few innings, buying a stupid, overpriced souveneir and going home around the fifth inning.

What I didn't anticipate was how hyper the boys were generally (especially relative to our well-behaved kids) and how this was exacerbated by the impact of a parental visit that immediately preceded the Met's game.

I picked up the boys at OHEL where they were having their weekly visit with their sister ("Rachel") and parents. Rachel, who was about 2 1/2, was staying at another foster home where she had been since the day that she had been pulled out of her parents' home. (This part of the story has the best ending, at least so far. After a five year struggle, Rachel's foster parents, with the help of OHEL, were finally able to terminate the birth parents' parental rights and are now in the process of adopting her) [They have since adopted her and she is doing very well].

I had been told that the weekly visits, which were mandated by the court, were chaotic. Until I saw one for myself, I had no idea what chaos really meant. The mother was clearly mentally ill, esentially disconnected from reality, almost staring into space. The kids ignored her. Instead, everything revolved around the father. There was a lot of running around and screaming and vying for attention (in both directions...the kids to the father and vis versa). If this was what happened in a meeting supervised by OHEL at its own office, I could only imagine what had gone on in their own home.

We got to the game and went to our seats. My brother met us at our seats, which were great field level seats that I had gotten from one of the law firms that works for my firm. The boys didn't sit still for a minute (literally). I can't even imagine what the people around us were thinking.

We lasted about five minutes before I had to make the pilgrimage to the kosher hot dog stand. That kept the boys occupied for about ten more minutes. When we got back to our seats the boys decided that they wanted to go to the top of Shea Stadium. So, we climbed up the escalators and visited the nosebleed seats (which were virtually uninhabitted). The boys were running around like meshuganas and it was all I could do to keep tabs on them. (I was thinking how goofy it was that we had the best seats in the house but the boys were having much more fun in the rafters). We lasted about three innings altogether, packed it up and went home.

I still remember the first time my dad [of blessed memory] took me to a ball game. It was the Yankees, in 1964 or '65. Mel Stottlemeyer hit an inside the park grand slam to the monuments at the old Yankee Stadium. Though the details have gotten fuzzy, I still remember the very special feeling of seeing the great green baseball diamond for the first time (remember, we had black and white TVs then) with my brother and my dad. I wonder if Judah remembers the Mets game. I will ask him next week.
Well, Judah clearly did remember the game after all these years.

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  • At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bro! As I've commented before...the first game we attended with Dad was in May 1963 against Kansas City and Jim Bouton pitched, Mickey Mantle hit 2 home runs, Roger Maris 1. The Mel Stollemeyer game was in July of 1965 against the Red Sox! Yikes! How do I remember these useless bits of info, and more importantly, why?

  • At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Perhaps I've missed this, but who is Judah's brother? What happened to him?

  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    He was with us for the first year. He subsequently went to a couple of foster homes and has now been in a permanent home for about four years.

    He's doing very well and will be bar mitzvah in November.


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