Nothin’ But Net

Posted by mwallach on June 1, 2011 in My Kids, New To You |

Dear That’s Life,

While we were not amidst the sea of ’Hangover 2’ viewers last weekend, my son was one of the reasons ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ did so well, seeing it twice in three days. A group of boys went on Friday after school in honor of someone’s birthday, accounting for his first viewing. The second time, however, he went with my teenage daughter who was so desperate to see a movie that she agreed to take her younger brother to a movie she would have otherwise skipped or gone to see while wearing a disguise.

It was a big deal for him to go to the movies with his big sister, and without any parents. As there was no school the next day, I was totally confident in my decision to let them go. After all, it is a quiet neighborhood and they were seeing an animated film. The chances of them running into an unsavory element or finding themselves in a situation they could not handle were slim to none.

As I pulled up in front of the theater, motioning them into the car, they gleefully ran in, practically bubbling over. I guessed that it was even more of a thrill than I had realized for them to go to the movies by themselves, but that was not the cause of their giddiness.

“The (Yeshiva University’s) Maccabeats were at the movies!” they exclaimed, unable to contain themselves. “LOOK!” My daughter had taken a picture of my son with three members of the famed acapella group who are rightfully enjoying much more than their 15 minutes. I smiled – these guys are the furthest thing from the ‘element’ about whom I was concerned. Jewish children all over the world have been taken in by this clean cut group because of their music. Jewish parents have rallied behind them as well, partly because of the music but also because of the group’s image. There are no tattoos, no skeletons in the closet, no rehab stints and no electronic monitoring bracelets – and they wear kippot. Basically, they are a modern Orthodox parent’s dream.

I laughed when I saw the picture, as my son prolaimed this to be the best night of his life. Carrying on for the next hour or so before he went to bed, he promised never to lose the ticket stubs from the movie, which will serve as a lifelong memento. My daughter bemoaned that she had no pen on her to get actual autographs, but a picture is worth a thousand words and the new wallpaper on her cell phone says it all.

The next afternoon, as I was getting ready for our barbecue, my daughter went with my friend to the supermarket, getting items we were missing for dinner. They came home twenty minutes later, not only with the goods they had purchased, but with news that was rather hard to believe. It seemed that New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony had also just been at the same store. All were abuzz with the news of the superstar’s visit, as was my kitchen when they returned home with the story.

We were both surprised and confused, trying to figure out what ’Melo’ was doing in the Foodtown in Hewlett. “Did you get to see him?” I asked my daughter, but she shook her head as they had just missed him. “I don’t care,” explained my daughter sincerely, “because I got to see the Maccabeats last night at Green Acres!” I thought she was kidding, but she was not – not at all.

When my son went to school the next day and told his friends he had met the Maccabeats, he was heartbroken when they did not believe him, the picture still on my daughter’s phone. I hugged him, telling him we would get a print copy that he could show other kids. I was silently thrilled that he was this star struck by the Maccabeats he had met. If my kids are more excited to see clean cut YU guys who can sing than a professional basketball player whose move to New York took the city by storm, then they can ‘flip their latkes in the air’ all the time for all I care.


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