Saturday, November 21, 2009

Karate Kid

BY LORI BETH LEMMON

It was bound to happen – if I am going to blog very often, you are surely going to hear about my kids. Having two small children (ages 6 and 4), it’s hard not to talk, or blog, about them – they consume so much of my time and energy. My oldest child, Jacob, has been asking, no, begging, to take karate lessons for two years. During that time, he has been active in other sports – baseball, golf, and soccer. And did I mention that he is pretty much active all the time, even when he is doing nothing –typical 6-year old boy, right?

Well, fall baseball season ended recently, and my husband and I decided that Jacob was probably ready for karate. ONE LESSON, and my little guy is hooked! He did such a great job listening, paying attention, cooperating, and doing exactly as he was asked – not typical 6-year old boy fashion, at least not typical for my boy at any age. It was really amazing to watch.

When we got ready to leave he said, “Mommy, can you believe it? My very first lesson and I already earned my white belt!” Now I don’t know much about karate, but I think all he had to do was show up and participate to earn the white belt. SHHHHHH, don’t tell Jacob. So none of this is really very interesting – I am sure millions of other parents have had similar experiences. Of course, for me, it was crazy special to see him so happy and doing so well in this new sport. But the other interesting thing about it is that the fundamentals of karate, and other martial arts, I’m guessing, are the notions of self-control, discipline, and respect for others.

These are things that we have been working to teach Jacob since he started walking, and believe me, it has not been easy, and we have not been terribly successful. Maturity has definitely helped, but Jacob is one of those kids that professionals call “spirited”. In other words, he is extremely energetic with an energy supply that seems to be limitless, he is very impulsive, and not always particularly aware of how his actions affect others. Don’t get me wrong, he is an incredibly sensitive and loving child, but just a little over the top with energy and very short on patience.

But, “Karate ,” he says, “is the best thing in the whole world. I love it more than anything else, Mommy, even more than baseball and golf.” Only time will tell if this enthusiasm will hold up as more and more discipline and hard work are required to advance his karate skills, but for right now, I have my very own karate kid.

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