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

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fishing With Fosterboy

I spent a good part of my Columbus Day day off on a fishing boat with Fosterboy.

I was pretty wary about this outing because I thought that he would lose interest after a while and we would be stuck on a boat for two or three more hours with no way off. In fact, I was hoping that Fosterboy would forget that he had asked me to hook this up last time he visited. Of course, by now I know that he never forgets anything.

In any event, he was actually very good and hung in the entire time.

But, before I get to the fishing, a word about the amazing tzadikim that have played a major role in keeping Fosterboy attached to his Jewish roots. As I've noted before, Fosterboy is the only Jewish kid in his residence. It is an amazingly difficult environment for maintaining his frum identity. This has been exacerbated by the decision of the administrators to cut him off from us with the exception of a monthly non-overnight visit. When all seemed lost, a number of locals stepped into the breach and have been visiting him and hosting him for Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. This year they arranged for a succah to be built on the premises! What an incongruous sight (Fosterboy was very proud of it and took me to see it when I came to pick him up). And, I can't say enough about Fosterboy's apparent inner strength. He continues to inspire me.

We got to Freeport and boarded the boat with minutes to spare. Within five minutes of departing, Fosterboy had already cased out the joint. He was on a first-name basis with the captain, knew all about the sonar computer system they use to locate fish, knew where the bathroom was, knew that they were selling drinks for a dollar, etc.

We rode out almost an hour from Freeport before we anchored. (Do they not have fish in Freeport?). Fosterboy climbed up to the second deck and loved the ride so that worked out well. The fishing itself was completely unproductive. Although the boat was very crowded (or perhaps because the boat was very crowded) very few fish were caught in aggregate. Neither Fosterboy nor I had so much as a bite.

(It was interesting to note the differences between the members of Amcha (of which there were quite a few) and the members of the nations of the world. The Amcha kids came with pekalas full of drinks and snacks were more appropriate for four day tours rather than four hour tours. Many members of the nations of the world came armed with beer coolers that looked more appropriate for a four day tour rather than a four hour tour. But I digress.)

Thankfully, the weather was ideal so, despite the unproductive fishing, Fosterboy and I had a very pleasant day. And, if all goes well, it will be many years before I step on a fishing boat again.



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