With apologies to Rudyard Kipling, this is dedicated to the parents of young hockey players at St. David's School in NYC....
If you can lose your blazer often
yet keep Mom from blaming it on you,
If you can lose your stick and jersey
and blame that loss on someone too;
If you can wait, but get your Mom to do the waiting,
Or being late, get the Coach to wait for you,
Or with siblings, don't give way to hating
Yet punch 'em hard and in the stomach too.
If you can check but not really check overtly,
If you can slash but neatly hide the blow,
Or with a hook... that's done covertly
That keeps Saint David's penalty low;
If you can bear to hear your pontification
Twisted by Mom to cause a flap with Dad:
But still save-the-day with an explanation
That makes it look good when it’s really very bad
If you can ride the bus and lose your virtue,
Or skip the bus and do the same,
If neither Coach nor Trish can hurt you,
'Cause you never show up for any games;
If you can wake your Father and Mother
for a game that's scheduled at dawn
…have them drive to Mackay to discover,
That our team's played-lost -and gone!
If you can fill the penalized minute,
With six men on a line, for fun;
Yours is the Rink and everything in it
'Cause you're a St. David's Squirt, my Son!
MJS 3/1/06 NYC