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Karate’s over – yeah, right. What was I thinking?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 No Comment

karateA week ago, Big Guy wasn’t sure he liked kararate at all.

It was “OK,” which for Big Guy is almost as big an insult as “ponies, unicorns and rainbows – girl stuff, blah, blah, blah.”

He liked seeing his friends at class, but he didn’t like class itself as much as he likes soccer and baseball.

“That’s all right, babes. You don’t have to keep going if you don’t like it.”

Whew! I thought. Off the hook and headed for a less-hectic life in a few more days, when the current class is over.

Today, though, he didn’t want to play with or even torture his brother when he came home from school.

“Can I just be alone for a while? I really want to spend some time with my yellow belt,” Big Guy said.

Oh, yes, the precious yellow belt. The one he wore all last night and much of this afternoon, even though he hates belts. The one he carefully carried to school today, showing it off to the crossing guard, the principal, people he’d never even met. The one that looks so much better with his uniform than the white belt he started with – or so he says.

“I can’t wait to get my orange belt,” he said, adding that a girl in his class had gotten hers Monday, when he was awarded his yellow.

That explosion you just heard was the sound of my fantasy of a less-hectic life going “boom.”

And while I say he was “awarded” the belt, that’s not quite true. He had to earn it. Pass an evaluation and everything – an evaluation where the sensei allowed some wiggle room, but an evaluation nonetheless.

“This was not like soccer, where everyone got a trophy,” I said. “This was something sensei gave you because you worked hard getting ready for the test and showed him that you could do it.”

It’s not that I have a problem with everyone getting trophies in soccer. I don’t have an issue either with score not being kept in his soccer league or in tee ball. I think a no-pressure, no-stress introduction to sports is a wonderful way to handle it.

But it is nice, though, to have him introduced to the concept that some things in life you have to work for and that sometimes that effort is recognized.

It’s not so nice to have Monday evenings tied up again for the foreseeable future, but the happy smile on his face is worth it.

For as long as that smile lasts, that is. Sensei warned the new yellow belts yesterday that they’ll have to pay more attention in their next class or he’ll boot them back down to white belt until they learn to quit goofing off.

“I’ll be a good listener, Mom,” Big Guy said. “No way do I want to give back my yellow belt. I worked for it.”

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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