Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not to Gush But… Ok, I'm Totally Going to Gush

This weekend was a weekend of accomplishment in my household and, not just because Hugh managed to finally take down the Christmas lights or because I cleaned our windows for the first time in three years which are huge accomplishments but; there was also wrestling.

Brandon’s Bout, the first annual tournament to raise money for the Brandon Gomez Memorial Scholarship, was a huge success despite the minor annoyance of a number of people who registered their kids to wrestle and then didn’t show up, forcing the organizers to redo brackets at the last minute and causing a delay in start time for the tourney. Still, when one considers that over 200 wrestlers competed and the tournament still finished in just under three hours, one can't complain too much.

Not complaining at all was The Teenager, who spent the day helping Brandon’s mom and sister in whatever capacity they needed her; she tagged referees at the end of each period, posted brackets, awarded medals, fetched and delivered and, generally just had a great time being indispensible and following Brandon's sister like a shadow.

The Man-Cub’s bracket was one most affected by the no-shows and, unfortunately, the Cub ended up wrestling two of his own teammates which is never fun. He also had a bye in the first round so, when all was said and done, he won by forfeit, lost to one of his best friends by one point and beat another good friend by more than one point for a third place finish which, as far as he was concerned, was just fiiine.

Once he was finished wrestling, the Cub leap-frogged around the other nine mats, coaching teammates when Hugh was unable to be two (and sometimes three) places at once. Because the tournament ran all ages consecutively, and because we had thirty-three wrestlers attending, Hugh could hardly be blamed for not being mat-side at each wrestler’s bout. He did the best he could and no one seemed to complain which didn't really surprise me.

After all, it was a day for compassion; Brandon’s spirit was alive and well and his mother was completely aglow with the satisfaction that running that tournament brought to her. It would have been Brandon’s thirteenth birthday and, her gift in his memory was a trophy to the wrestler showing the best sportsmanship. Prior to the tournament, she asked the referees, coaches and table help to nominate wrestlers they thought deserved the award and, to vote on the outcome.

I would not have wanted to be in their shoes because, every kid in that gymnasium showed outstanding sportsmanship that day. I saw no ugly displays of anger or disappointment following losses, nor any parental displays of ugliness (which hallelujah! Let’s give out a trophy at every tournament!) instead; I witnessed pats on the backs and hugs between opponents as well as whispered encouragements and sincere condolences. It was awesome.

All of which makes me even more proud of this:

I’m…just….I actually don’t have the words to describe how proud I am. There should be a word for this feeling but no dictionary in the free world could possibly do justice in defining it.

Not one simple word.

This, I realize, actually makes me less gushy than I claimed previously and; maybe more than a little bit dumbstruck.

That's cool.


  1. Congrats! That is pretty awesome!

  2. Man-Cub won it? I'm all teary! Congrats to you and Hugh for raising such a wonderful young guy! And to Man-Cub for living out what he's being taught! :)

  3. What a wonderful day. You must be so proud!