Yussie Lubin at his soccer game

I’m not what you would call athletically inclined (other than my magnificent swimming ability), and alas neither are my children (although my husband is). We had a shot a couple of years ago when one of my daughters tried out for the soccer team, but sadly she didn’t make the final cut.

Yosef Binyamin Lubin has finally breached the mostly sports-challenged Lubin clan by joining the South Side Middle School soccer team. Allow me to clarify–he didn’t need to “try out,” rather he was invited to join. No one is turned away at South Side, and that includes Ms. Beaumont’s CORE class! He has practice every day after school alongside the rest of the school’s seventh-grade team, and is eagerly awaiting his first official game. I will join the ranks of other mothers as we cheer and chant for our team members. I guess I can proudly say, as a former vice-presidential candidate once announced: I am a soccer mom!

We are so proud of Yussie. He wears his jersey proudly and is working hard at all the practices. Tonight will be the first actual game against another school that will have his participation (the other game was on a late Friday afternoon), and we can’t wait to see him in action! We have been warned that he will not necessarily play a big chunk of the game, but we will be rooting for the South Side Middle School nonetheless.

We have always tried our best to have as many “mainstreaming” opportunities for our young man. He might be rather behind scholastically, but we have always wanted him to have models for social purposes so that he will know how to behave appropriately in the “real world.” We have made so much progress throughout his 12 years, as I believe that people around him have been able to accept him as part of the community.

Chabad of the Five Towns has been an extremely nurturing place for Yussie to thrive religiously. No one gives a funny look or frown when Yussie tries to daven the prayers in his loud, pure voice. He might not know the words perfectly, but his enthusiasm is infectious. Yussie is now a usual for all the services on Shabbos, and tries to “assist” the rabbi when he announces the pages. Just this past Shabbos, Yussie was a little under the weather and did not make it to morning services. Rabbi Wolowik approached me to explain that the davening wasn’t the same without Yosef.

Yesterday, Yussie overslept and had to be brought to school since he had missed the bus. My eldest daughter was impressed at how everyone they came in contact with at South Side Middle School seemed to know Yussie. The school guard greeted him with a big smile and explained that he had missed Yussie’s singing as all the students entered the school building that morning. Yussie proceeded to be similarly greeted by all the office staff and even the school principal!

Yussie has a way of endearing himself to almost everyone he meets. It is a trait that will help him go far in this world! Stay tuned for the results of Yussie’s first soccer team, and my first opportunity of being a soccer mom. v

Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Rosenfeld & Maidenbaum, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children: Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea and now a new daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.


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