Remembering 9/11, Ryan’s Way

Ryan stands for the anthem
You may find it odd to stand for the national anthem of a game you’re watching on TV, but Ryan does not.

I have so much to write — about the end of summer and the start of school. Heck, I still have a few items from summer vacation I want to get to.

But moment-to-moment interactions often dictate the agenda here, and many a post gets conceived in brief bits of morning conversation.

This was a typically chaotic school morning in our house, as we all scrambled to eat, shower, dress and pack for our days.

Riley had the remote and decided to watch the morning news coverage of the September 11 anniversary. Ryan did not object. You may recall that last year he made a similar choice, a real breakthrough for him in terms of connecting to current events.

As I headed upstairs to get dressed, he had a message for me. We recently began another lengthy backyard hockey series, and we try to play a game every night when I get home.

“Dad, tonight’s hockey game will be delayed by a ceremony to remember 9/11,” he told me. He was completely serious.

Ryan seeks absolute realism in all his games. It’s why there are goal horns and play-by-play calls when he plays with his Hockey Guys. It’s why he sometimes sings the national anthem (or both the U.S. and Canadian anthems if the game is in Canada or against a Canadian team) before his games — and insists everyone stand at attention.

Hockey guys line change
I love the amount of detail Ryan puts into his Hockey Guys games. Here the “Ducks” (in white) have dumped the puck into the “Sharks’ ” (in yellow) end, and both teams head to the bench for a line change.

For him, the decision to add a ceremony tonight is not about being silly. There is no hint of inappropriate mocking.

It’s about being real.

I expect there will be a moment of silence, perhaps followed by the anthem. But I don’t really know what he has in mind.

And I will stand at silent attention, glad once again that my son has found a way connect to current events that works — and is meaningful — for him.

He’s come a long way from confusing Osama Bin Laden and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Update: Read the post-script here –>

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