Yesterday we spent the afternoon at a birthday party for Maya’s friend Kaitlyn. Kim and Tim, Kaitlyn’s parents, always throw a great party near the Hudson Beach Cafe up at 103rd and Riverside. There are a few people who come to Kaitlyn’s party who I see only once a year – at Kaitlyn’s party!
Joshua and I were sitting and talking to one such parent who is originally from England and whose ex-husband is from Ireland. They have four kids – two boys and two girls. As we sat chatting the discussion inevitably made its’ way to the topic of soccer (as it always does with anyone not originally from this country). Then the woman we were speaking to told us that her ex was a big fan of rugby and had played rugby in college. He wanted both his boys to play rugby here, but the only youth rugby league was in the Bronx, which is too far from where they live. So after many years and requests from the boys themselves, he finally agreed to allow them to join a local football league. (American football, that is.)
Joshua doesn’t really get football – why would you want to watch something that is basically like watching war made into a sport – and so we talked about that for a few minutes. Then she asked us what sports Ben is into. Pause. Well, I said, not anything at the moment. (The kids were playing Capture the Flag while this conversation was happening.) The rest of the exchange went like this:
Her: (to Joshua) But you probably have a sport you want him to be involved in, right?
Joshua: No, not-
Her: Really, though – there’s something you want him to do. Probably soccer, right? Is he into soccer?
And then Joshua did what he does so well, which is sum everything up in very few words.
Joshua: Ben is into the sport of being happy.
Two other parents sitting at the table with us, both of whom know Ben pretty well, began smiling and nodding. Because that is the perfect description of Ben. Being happy is his sport. And he excels at it.