Mae tested for her orange belt in Tae Kwon Do last Thursday. While performing an exercise called Second Form, whatever that is, she made a mistake. She paused and started over. The three classmates testing with her kept going. She didn’t try to catch up with them. She took her time. I could she that she was concentrating hard. She finished . Then, the entire group had to repeat the set of moves. The second time, she did a great job from start to finish. They all did.
Before going on to the next phase of the test, the Master Instructor praised Mae for starting over and taking her time. He told her that he liked that she didn’t just stop. He said that she’ll be a “strong finisher in life.” I was more proud of her for staying the course than I was for getting the belt.
Mae told me a few weeks ago that she didn’t want to take the test because she didn’t feel ready. She said she couldn’t remember all of the Second Form. At first, I thought about asking the teacher if she could work with Mae a little extra. I talked myself out of that. Instead, I asked Mae what was the worst that could happen? She wouldn’t get the orange belt, which would be disappointing and upsetting. Then, life would go on. I pointed out that she had several more weeks to practice. I reminded her of the Fourth Agreement, always do your best. She relaxed after our talk. I did too. The talk was as much for me as for her. When she first said she was worried, a vision of a huge meltdown in the middle of the dojo flashed across my mind. But I can’t save her from everything. Failure is a part of life and learning. I told myself that if she failed, I’d just have to be prepared to give her a shoulder. So, it all worked out. My Strong Finisher.
The whole week finished on a high note. I went on a field trip with Jay’s class, which was a welcome break from the office. I had Jay and one other mild-mannered kid with me. Some of the other moms were envious; they had rowdy kids. One mom told a kid that he wouldn’t be allowed to go on field trips in the future unless one of his parents came along. Parents who are used to easy-to-manage kids have no idea. Next time, I’ll volunteer to take him if he doesn’t have a parent on the trip. Compared to my girlchild, he would have been a piece of cake.
When I went back to work on Friday, I had three deadlines and I met all of them, plus a slew of stuff that I wasn’t expecting to do. But the absolute highlight of my week was that I found a pair of shoes on sale for $19.99 and went I to pay, I had exactly $19.99 in reward points. Yep, I walked out with a free pair of shoes, no taxes, nothing.
This morning, I went to Jay’s school to help in the garden that the principal recently started. I took my neglected gardening tools and gloves, meant for the garden that exists only in my head, and put them to good use. I have neither vegetable nor flower in my own yard, but while my kids are in summer camp at the school, they’ll have an opportunity to see, touch and taste some of nature’s bounty and I’ll get some credit for it. 🙂
Today is Saturday, and I have nothing planned outside of the house for the rest of today and tomorrow. That means we have no excuse to let our garage remain in its current crowded, unorganized condition. So, that’s my tomorrow. For now, Hubby found an Irish documentary that involves fighting. I like Irish stories and he likes fighting, so we have a date.