True Story

The following is a true account of the events that took place during Full Speed’s black belt graduation.

Full Speed brought his ‘A’ game. His punches and kicks were on fire.

His black belt form was crisp and precise.

He did take a beating during sparring. So much in fact T.Puzzle turned to me and said, “Full Speed sure is getting a beat-down.” True, this is all true.

Fortunately part of the black belt spirit is persevering even when you want to give up. Full Speed pulled it together and his nunchuk demo was fierce.

Then it was time for the belt ceremony. I mean this is the big time, right? This is what it all comes down to, this one, bright shining moment and…

guess who needed to go potty right then?

Little T.Puzzle. Oh, dear sweet T.Puzzle, how I love you so and your extremely inconvenient potty moments.

Mad Dog says, “He’s five, send him on his own. He can do it.”

My Mommy Instinct reached a five-alarm status but I didn’t want to miss a minute of the black belt ceremony. I squashed down my doubt and reluctantly sent him on his way.

An eternity passes and I insist, “Mad Dog, go check on T.Puzzle.” My tone was not necessarily pleasant and seemed to adequately convey my dismay (a.k.a.-Mom was about to lose her mind).

Guess who had locked themselves in the bathroom and was reaching a complete meltdown status?

Strike two for T.Puzzle.

This is where my life flashed before my eyes and I gave up hope that we could celebrate Full Speed’s achievement together (or that anything in my life with these two boys will ever go as I plan them in my head).

However, we didn’t give up. We all kept our black belt attitudes and Mad Dog calmly coached a hysterical T.Puzzle through the unlocking process (thankfully, there was so much noise in the studio, the near Great Bathroom Disaster of 2011 went largely undetected).

The ceremony was saved, Full Speed’s black belt rewarded and T.Puzzle lived to see the light of day again.

Awesome job, Full Speed!

Grace is a Name I Call Myself

I took both boys to taekwondo.  It was rainy and the sky was clouded in a way that made me feel kind of doomy.  For some reason, I did not have a proper attitude.  My attitude could have stemmed from the twisted knee I sustained during last Friday’s Zumba class (yes, I clearly am highly coordinated) and it twinged with regret every time I took a step.  Or, I am starting to really, truly be over the YEAR ROUND taekwondo situation (Mad Dog, please take note).  Yes, with most activities there is a distinctive start point and end point.  Taekwondo is infinite.  Apparently, my boys can become 128th degree black belts and me?  I would like to start earning my black belt in lounging or slacking off in general.  But, alas, this will never happen.  Even if for some reason we suspend all kung-fu type activity in our home, there will be another activity or goal to replace it. 

My goal?  To try to remain gracious even when I feel completely the opposite.

How am I doing Mad Dog? 

On second thought, better not answer that.  You know with me trying to be more gracious and all.

The Sparring Truth

Now that T.Puzzle is a camoflauge belt, he technically is allowed to spar.  This means I am technically allowed to be completely neurotic about it.

the good ol' days when T.Puzzle was still a non-sparring yellow belt.

Oh, my denial runs deep.  I keep wishing and hoping that his sparring days are far, far in the future.

In class as I grabbed a seat another Mom asked me, “Has T.Puzzle sparred, yet?”

I went into this long explanation about how he has not, how I’m not ready for it, he’s too young, too timid and maybe Mad Dog can take him to a sparring class because I don’t want to see it.

I think a simple ‘no, he has not’ would have sufficed.

Needless to say, as soon as I’m done with my crazy little speech, the instructor approaches me and asks if  T.Puzzle has his sparring gear.

Today is the day.

Yikes!!

The more I thought about it the more I realized my concerns about T.Puzzle sparring had nothing to do with him.

I am associating this with him being grown-up.

Newsflash— he is growing up.

Sometimes knowledge like this is worse than a flying high kick to the head.

After it was over, it was all relatively harmless, and T.Puzzle shouted, ‘that was the most awesomest!’, I paused and tried to be grateful for how well he handled it. 

Me? 

I still have a ways to go yet.

Wise for His Size

It was Full Speed’s turn to graduate.

He was fired up from the start.

Once he donned his sparring gear he felt unstoppable.

He attacked with everything he had.  His opponent didn’t stand a chance.

Full Speed breaks out his flying spin kick.
Go Full Speed!

One of the best parts about being six years old is that life and its lessons haven’t completely caught up to you yet.  You still believe in the impossible.

Santa will visit your house.

Life will always good.

And, in Full Speed’s case, you can imagine that you are a six foot, 190 lb. man who can beat anyone or any obstacle with a spin kick and a heart like a lion.

Maybe Full Speed has something to teach us all.

Board Break

Time flies when you’re having fun or when you are simply living your life as quietly as possible hoping for the best.

Another Tiny Tiger’s graduation was upon us.

T.Puzzle has struggled to break the necessary board to advance his belt.  Full Speed asked permission from the instructor to help hold the board for T.Puzzle. 

That was the highlight for me; watching Full Speed want to be the ‘big brother’ for T.Puzzle.

After what seemed like 87 million attempts (all of them failed), T.Puzzle could not break the board.

The instructor asked Full Speed to step in and break the board on T.Puzzle’s behalf.

And break he did.

Eventually, T.Puzzle was allotted some more attempts as graduation was winding down.  He kind of sort of broke it on his own accord.

He earned his new belt and the pride spread across his face from ear to ear.

It’s great to earn a new belt, but even better to have a brother who’s got your back.