Friday, May 13, 2011

The Value of Parental Affection

My son and I just barely arrived on time for his hockey game a couple of weeks ago.  It was rush, rush, rush to get there and get him on the ice.  There was no time to talk I just had to get him dressed out and push him out onto the ice.  All the while his little brother is saying we need to go to the concession stand because he didn’t get any lunch.  Rush, rush, rush.

The game started, and my son on the ice was still trying to figure out where he was; because we had gotten ready so fast.  Things were not going well, he was out of position, and he didn’t look like he knew where he was supposed to be.  He was trying so hard though, skating as fast as he could when he would realize that he was in the wrong place, to late though.  All I could do was stand helplessly from the glass around the ice and watch my son get more and more frustrated. 

Buzzer sounds “Thank you God I say to myself.”   I had been able to get my son some Gatorade to drink before the start of the second period.  I held the bottle in the air to signal him over to me.  I met him at the bench.  “Hey son, in all the commotion I didn’t get the chance to give you a hug this morning.”  As tears of frustration welled up he wrapped his arms around my neck.  “I know you’re out of position a lot, but you’re trying to skate back quick.”  “Calm down, control your emotions, gather yourself up.”  “Okay?”  My son nodded his head in response.  “Hey look at me.”  “I’m proud of you.”  “Now, give me a good squeeze and fight back.”   “Good man, now go get it back.”  My son scored his first two goals and acquired his 3rd assist in the second period.  He also never let the other team’s offense come across the neutral zone on his side of the ice.

I thought it only fair to share the inspiration for today’s blog with you. 

Jerry’s Speech from Boston Legal

Six years ago isolation had brought me to the point; I had considered taking my life.  I picked up the phone and punched out 411, so desperate was I to hear the sound of another person’s voice.  I got some automated recording that said “what city and state please.” And I wept.  We are living in such an increasingly isolated world, your honor.  We I.M. and text message, and have virtual relationships online, it gets lonelier and lonelier, while teenage and adult depression continues to rise.  There are perhaps many things we can do about it.  Banning the hug can’t be one of them.

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