Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Therapy on Ice

Jack, No. 42, on the ice.
A wonderful first-person article by Jean Winegardner of The Washington Times.

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- There are less than two minutes left on the clock in this, the final tournament game for one Maryland hockey team. The coach takes a player -- number 42 -- and positions him in front of the opposing team's net. He raps his stick on the ice, then raises it in the air to signal to the coach at the other end of the ice that the puck needs to meet this player's stick.
The coach gets the opposing goalie's attention and gestures at number 42. The goalie nods. The puck makes its way to the pair and the small player hits the puck but misses the net. The coaches get the puck back to him and keep the other players off of him long enough so that finally the puck meets the net and the arms of the team shoot skyward in celebration.
It has taken two teams, multiple coaches, and one determined player to make this one goal in this one low-stakes game happen, but based on the cheers and celebration from both the ice and the stands, you would never think that this game was unimportant. Number 42 has been playing hockey for two seasons and this is his first ever in-game goal.
Number 42 is my 8-year-old autistic son, Jack, and this moment meant the world to him.

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