Friday, December 07, 2007

They might be giants.

Last night Boy Child and Girl Child had Taekwondo testing in order to get their next belt. This testing? Involved the ability to spar.

Sparring is alternately fascinating and difficult for me to watch. Fascinating because, particularly in the case of Girl Child, it involves much more grace and agility than a good old fistfight that a East Tennessee girl like me would be accustomed to, and difficult because well, that's my freaking kid getting his ass kicked and I can't threaten to run over the over kid doing the beating with my SUV because that would just be bad form and probably get my kid disqualified.

Girl Child moves fluidly throughout the fights, as she moves throughout every aspect of her life. She's a girlie girl to the extreme, and even in her full gear her hair flutters neatly to each side of the huge, bright red, plastic mask she wears to protect her skull. She makes a mouthpiece and knee pads look stylish somehow. I'm not sure where she gets this particular skill, but it's one more thing I admire about this child I adore, but don't necessarily understand. Also? Her ability to get punched in the stomach and immediately come right back and hit the other person in the head. I mean, immediately.

I really don't think I'll ever have to worry about Girl Child, and her ability to take care of herself.

Boy Child, on the other hand, worries me.

Last night he went up against a huge kid. Giant. I turned to the lady next to me and said, "OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT KID, LIKE IN COLLEGE?!?!?"

And she said,
"That's my son. He's in fourth grade."


But I do not retract my shock and horror. That kid was freaking huge. He was probably over 5'5" and he had a good seventy-five pounds on Boy Child. His first punch? Knocked Boy Child to the mat.

His next punch? Knocked Boy Child to the mat.
His third punch? Knocked Boy Child to the mat.
His fourth punch? Well you get the freaking idea. The child kissed the floor mat all night.

And he got back up. Every single time, he got back up. He kicked, he punched, he fell down, and he got back up.

It struck me when I was thinking of the whole scenario in my head, that the sparring last night seems to be a pretty good representation of Boy Child's life as a whole so far.

He's an underdog, and always has been, but he seems to accept this fate with grace. He's small, and he knows he's smaller than other kids, but it doesn't bother him. He assumes that everyone will want to be his friend but isn't really bothered when people don't like him. Their loss, he assumes, and he's right.

He struggles. I watch his struggles every day. It's so hard for me as a parent, particularly when one child seems to come by life so effortlessly, to see another child try and fail, try and fail. He pushes himself to the limits of what he can do, and when he falls down, he gets back up again.

Despite this, I worry.

Because he's also sensitive and loving. For Thanksgiving I asked each person what they were most thankful for and he said, thoughtfully, "My sister". If she is not with us, he is concerned about her and how she is, how she's feeling. He worries about me and my feelings. He's a good friend and really, he's a just a good kid. Not perfect, but really, a good, sweet kid.

And unfortunately, I've come to realize more and more that those are the people who get stomped on. That gets their hearts broken and their pocketbooks robbed. Because they do care. Because they do try so hard. Because they want to do their best, want to try so hard.

But Boy Child doesn't see that. And as he was standing before me, sweat on his brow, his little body wrapped in a tiny white suit and huge, ackward red headgear, he grinned through his mouthguard and said,

"Mom! Did you see me? I kicked butt out there!"

Indeed you did Boy Child.

Indeed you do.


frannie said...

and now, I'm crying.

Edie said...

I don't know how you watch your kids do that. Me? I'd be a blubbering idiot. But, I think it's great that they are doing this. It teaches them lessons in so many ways.

You have a very strong son. He probably will get his heart broken a few times, but you know what? He has a wonderful mother that will be there to get him through. :)

Dawn~a~Bon said...

You know me and you know I don't cry, but you made me cry. i'm going to have to plead allergies to anyone who walks by!

I love that kid. He is some kind of wonderful!

Unknown said...

This got me all teary, Chick. I also have two children; one who gracefully accomplishes everything with ease and another who keeps getting back up everytime she's knocked down by life.

It's excruciating to watch when they get knocked, but the joy that ensues when they try again and again AND triumph? Is nothing short of overwhelming amazement;).

Nancy said...

I can't imagine the sparring with contact.... our classes, tests and competitions are all non-contact until you hit red belt.

We do our testing next Wednesday... I'm testing for my green stripe, my sons are testing for their green belts, my husband is testing for his yellow belt. Wish us luck!

And tell your kids I think they're awesome!

Lucky Gem said...

What a sweet Boy Child. My niece and nephew do Taekwondo. They have some color belt. Actually, just a few stripes from being black belt. I think they just tested for their red belt? Does that sound right? They are 7 and 8.

Mrs. Booms said...

Let me tell you that my sister. Pre-mature, sickly as a little one. She is also and always was as a child a super sensitive one with a heart of pure gold. I adore her.

She is super sweet and has never done harm to anyone... AND? She's doing great and I always worried about her too.

My daughter? Very much the same way and I worry about her getting taken advantage of and being hurt... But it's the right way to be... and just because they are sweet and sensitive, they can also be smart.

boy child will be fine... I promise you... And I wish more people had you for their mother. Wouldn't the world be a better place then?

Anonymous said...

Should I ever have a daughter? I want her to marry someone just like Boy Child. He sounds amazing. Boy Child for President!

Unknown said...

I love Boy Child to pieces. And, it's sad that the good ones, are the ones who get stomped on. Some girl is going to be awfully lucky to get him some day.

Unknown said...

You never said: did they get the belts??

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Having had a stomped on kind of life I have to say, it's not so bad. Yeah, you get hurt more than the average, but you appreciate things more. You find joy in simple things more easily. And when you find people who don't stomp on you? Bliss. Happiness. Joy. I wouldn't trade it. I wouldn't trade the teasing, bullying, and general meanness for any amount of ease and grace. I'm happy to have gone through that.

This is a beautiful post, Chick.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment as I'm unable to see through the tears in my eyeballs.


Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

I absolutely love reading posts about your kids. The love and admiration that you have for them just shines! I hope you are saving this for them because when they get older, it will be a wonderful thing for them to see.

Angie said...

Well, I'm all verklempt, too. The reason? You've got a boy child like my boy child.

Cherish that sensitivity. Encourage it. Nourish it. He will grow to be a strong, wonderful man.

Mine is so much like his dad--who just received word the other night that his 4th grade Sunday school teacher had died. My sweet husband, who could barely speak, just said, "I'll be back," and took a reflective (chilly) walk around the cul-de-sac.

Men like this are rare. You are blessed.

. . . and I'd love to see boy child (and girl child) kick butt someday!

Sabrina said...

oh Lordy, that was hilarious. I can't believe that was her son. If it's any consolation, I used to do Judo and was one of the only two girls who did that, and was also one of the smallest kids, so I'd get picked on... a lot. But i'm ok now, yeah, we've all been kicked around a couple of times, but it's part of life and it makes us stronger (or so I keep telling myself). You are a wonderful mom for supporting him in his endeavors.

Alpha Dude said...

You, my friend, are a good Mom.

Both of your children, each with their unique and wonderful qualities, get it from you.
They were not born to be the way they are, they learned from watching you.

You done good and you are awesome.


my4kids said...

I would have been you and the one making the comment to the person who just happened to be the child your complaining about!
I get what you mean though chick, Izzak is the same way I worry about him and hope he is a strong person later because of it.

SJINCO said...

Very touching Chick! Your kids are amazing as are you and I know you are so proud of them.

Hell, I'm proud of them and they aren't even mine. And well, I've never had the pleasure of meeting you all. But anyway....

They are fantastic. So fantastic that I got all teary eyed.

You are doing a fine job. You are such a great Mom.



Wenderina said...

Great post Super Mom. You may find that both kids have this amazing advantage when they grow up and it all came from you. Boy child shows it right now, knocked down, get back up, knocked down again, Get Back Up, knocked down many more times? GET. BACK. UP. Girl child may not find herself knocked down as much, but her shear grace shows she will be able to. Nice work mom and dad.