For 4 years, Kendall has been asking to do TaeKwonDo. We'd been pushing it off only because she was involved in weekly swimming and gymnastics classes at first, then swimming and piano...there's always a full schedule. Plus, I guess I thought it would pass...maybe it was a fleeting fancy. You know how that happens with kids!
But Barry and I had been talking with Kendall about how she's getting older, and now is about the time that kids start to find "their thing"...the activity/interest that they love more than any other...the one they want to spend all their time doing, instead of just randomly trying all different kinds of things. Sadly, in this day and age, if kids don't get it figured out early, they are really behind and then don't want to participate. We saw this particularly in soccer, as she first tried it 2 years after everyone else her age had started. Many of the kids attended soccer camps year round, and Kendall felt like she didn't pick it up fast enough and lost interest quickly. I've talked to many other parents who also feel this frustration. It's like, if your child hasn't been training since age 3, just forget about it. What's up with that?
Anyway, she wanted to give up swimming...but that's not an option in our house. Why? Because of this...Swimming is a part of life around here until I am confident that these kids are safe around that pond. Yes, she's close...she's been swimming weekly since she was 3...but I wanted her to keep it up for just a little while more. So I made her a deal. She could start TaeKwonDo if she swam until summer break, and swam her hardest and best with no complaints. That was all it took. She was sold!
So in March, she took a free class to get a feel for it and see if she wanted to try it. This, of course, was a formality because we KNEW she was going to want to do it...and a LOT of it. Were we wrong? NO. She was so excited!!! And even more so because her friend Garrett decided to give it a go as well. (And of course, this makes me happy because Garrett's mom and I have worked out a carpool...because the TKD center is 25 minutes away from my house!) So the way it works is we pay a monthly "tuition" and she can go to as many or as few classes per week as she wants or is able to get to. They offer a class for her level every day except Sunday, all at varying times. Needless to say, she's been getting there an average of 5 days per week...are you getting how much she loves this yet? On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the class is at 4:55, so she rides the bus home with Garrett, and his mom takes them and Barry picks her up on his way home from work. On Mondays,Wednesdays, and Fridays, class is at 6:25...so we eat dinner, and then pick Garrett up on the way and drop him off on his way home. Saturday is kind of a crap shoot...class is at 11:00, so we make it if we can.
I'm seeing some real positives to this sport, as opposed to some of the others she's tried. First and foremost, the emphasis is on respect and discipline. Second is the focus. Third is how much fun the instructors make it while still coaching the kids. Not once has she said she didn't want to go. Fourth is how much these 2 instructors have made it so much like a sort of family. I even enjoy going and watching. Kendall loves to teach me when we get home...it's so cute!After a the first few weeks, Kendall came running up to me after class and said, "MOM!!! I really think I've found 'my thing'!!! I'll tell you what...I think she might be right. Here she is right after receiving her 4th stripe...the red one. Yesterday she participated in her first belt test, to receive her yellow belt. She was fantastic, and I'm not just saying that because she's my baby girl. One of the parents grabbed me on our way out and told me so...to which I replied, "Do you really think so? I thought it was just me being biased!!!"
She laughed and said no, Kendall was clearly working hard and having fun.
And really, what more can I ask of her?
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