May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Here I am sitting at another hockey game. To clarify, it is “Jew hockey,” not ice hockey. There has been much debate about if “Jew hockey” is actually a sport. We can also call it “street hockey,” if you find that less offensive. I have to say that it is, indeed, a sport, because if I didn’t believe that, the hundreds of games that I have gone to would have been for nothing. They would have meant nothing; there would be no validation for the amount of blood (actual blood), sweat (lots and lots of actual sweat) and tears (boys never cry, even if they lose…) that have amassed over the course of the past nine years.

It would be easy for me to stay away from the topic of hockey, but, in my house, it is like eating or sleeping. When are the practices? When are the games? Where are the games? How are we getting to the games? Is there a good restaurant near the game? Can son #1 watch his brother play from YU? Can son #2 keep roommate Z and roommate J awake in Shaalavim while he live streams the game from the Holy Land?

The other day, I was watching a TABC junior hockey game. Now I no longer have kids playing in that league, but one son was a coach and one son was a ref and I had already finished doing laundry, so I went to watch the action. A kid scored whose brother is in Israel with son #2, so we WhatsApped him in on the excitement. You have to admit, it is kind of cool that in this age of instant gratification technology we are all really connected. But back to hockey.

It seems that my career as a hockey mom is winding down. Now that I only have one child in high school, I only have one kid on the hockey team. For a few years, I would have one kid on varsity and one kid on JV. This meant two different practices and two different game schedules. And lots and lots of water bottles. And laundry detergent. You always had to hope that if JV won, that varsity would win and vice versa, because you never want your kids to feel bad.

Though I will be the first to say that I was very happy that son #3 was the only one to win a championship when he was at Yeshivas Noyam. There are few things that a youngest child can accomplish beyond his elder brothers, so this was a really big win for son #3. I have watched sons #1 and 2 claim their victories under the marvelous coaching of Coach Norm and Coach Mo. They try to make every game a perfect combination of hard work and good values.

But then the weirdest thing happened. Well, not so much weird as, “Wow, I must be really old for this to be happening.” Yes, son #1 is the coach for Moriah hockey. This is ironic on many levels. The first being he didn’t go to Moriah and when we played Moriah in hockey, he was the goalie that put an end to their two-year winning streak. The other ironic part is that he just played against Yavneh Academy. I went to Yavneh Academy; of course, that was when the school still met in a cave and we had recess with the dinosaurs. But is was so surreal to be at a game, at my alma mater, where none of my boys were playing hockey, but they were old enough to coach hockey. Which means that I am old enough to have a son that is old enough to coach hockey. Which means that I am no longer able to pass for a student at Yavneh Academy, which is actually good because I couldn’t even figure out how to use the water fountains.

The exact number of games I have been to has yet to be determined, as I will wait until my career is officially over to tally them, but the games have always been enjoyable. Up until this year, I had my “boy-mom-girls” that I hung out with at every game. I have “friend G” (who wanted to be in this column, and I am happy to oblige because he is a good friend to son #3) who checks in on me to make sure I am not too bored and you never really know which “blast from the past” will show up in the form of a player’s parent from the other team.

As for what goes on at these games, I will still never understand the rules, but win or lose, there is nothing cuter than the conversation that will occur on our family WatsApp when the game is over. Because that is the most important thing of all… my three sons all wanting to be a part of each other’s victory or defeat and to be each other’s biggest fans.

God, I love my boys… and I guess I love hockey, too.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

 Banji Ganchrow wanted to name son #3 Scott Steven, but husband #1 said no. We chose a character from the New Testament instead…

 

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