Saturday, November 20, 2010

Discipline and Teamwork Rewarded

We signed up T1 for karate lessons after he spent a summer in a class and found he loved it.  He even said he wanted to skip the summer camp field trip to the circus so he could go to karate class. Fast forward 4 months.  Today, he took the test for the next belt--orange in this case.  He did it. He accomplished the techniques and punches and blocks necessary for moving up to the next level.  I watched him do it and I was so proud.  I love that this squirmy kid, who's often in trouble in class for talking or fooling around, could practice the discipline of karate with a dignity and grace that I knew he had in him all along.  Part of my motive for having him take karate was to teach him the discipline of having to remember much information, pay attention to what is being said (to learn techniques) and to react to what is being done (to counter attacks).  Martial arts are steeped in discipline and focus--and T1's applying some.

Just look at that orange belt!

The day of awards kept on going as we went to the end of the season party for T2's soccer team.  This was a team of girls between 6 and 8 whose skills were a force to be reckoned with on the field.  I'm totally NOT a soccer mom, and I normally find the parents who are screaming at their kids from the sidelines to be annoying at best and abrasive at worst.  But something happened with this team.  I saw this group of girls, who didn't know each other at all 3 months ago, come together as a team to play with each other instead of against each other.  I got caught up, as all the parents did, in the amazing season they had.  Today, as trophies were handed out, the coach said if he could find a way to keep this team together and take them through their childhood, he would.  T2's desire was commensurate with the coach's enthusiasm.  She grew as someone who could get along with others and work together for the goal, not always being the one who needed the glory--a major step for her.

T2 with coach

T2 showed some more maturity today as she had to leave the soccer party early to perform with her hula group.  It's a hard concept for a just 8-year-old to fathom that she had to sacrifice one thing in order to do another.  She wanted to do both.  She honored both commitments and proved to me how committed she is in pretty much everything she does.

Dancing with stones like castanets

 We topped off today's birthday celebration with a dinner trip to a super kitchsy, Polynesian restaurant with oodles of fish tanks and syrupy, sweet flaming drinks that come in  giant bowl with 2-foot straws.
Bahooka, the ship-wreck restaurant
Loving the giant-bowl drinks

Birthday kids with lollipops.  Fish look hungry
Today was a good day.  It's the kind of day I became a parent to have.  I relished spending the day with my family, kids doing what they love to do, and DG and I beaming with pride from the sidelines.  So sweet.

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