Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Ninja Turtle

Long day.

Good day, but loooooong day.

We went to Tyler today for Ninja camp which is, I think, one of the coolest things I think I’ve ever witnessed. Harrison, fresh in his yellow belt, was very excited about getting to go. Quite frankly, I had my doubts as to whether he was going to be able to make it or not—he had gotten into quite a bit of trouble the week before and I told him that if he got into any trouble this week at all he wasn’t going. As soon as I said it, I kind of wished I hadn’t, because I figured there was no way he was going to make it a whole week without getting into trouble. Using this very same discipline ‘trick’ was what made him miss seeing the monster trucks back in October.

I guess this time he realized we meant business, though. He had a tiny wobble on Monday—he got on yellow that morning, but had a sticker by the end of the day, showing that he had been extra good in the afternoon. The rest of the week, as he would come into my room in the afternoons, he would be triumphant in his good behavior. Friday rolled around and before he had a chance to do too much in class, he went to PE where he had a collision with another kid and knocked his head pretty hard on the floor.

When Robert went to pick him up in the nurse’s office, his first words were, “Daddy, I was on green all day today!”

After watching him for signs of concussion Friday night and most of yesterday (he was playing on his computer Friday when I called home—I don’t think there was any danger of him having any major injuries), we decided that he was in good health and packed him up for class today.

And boy, was that the best thing we could have done.

The teachers had told us about Ninja Camp, but when they talked about it they insinuated that Yellow Belts, as novices, would only get to work on nun chucks while older, more experienced fighters would get to try out the other toys weapons. Instead, my five-year-old boy got to start his day off with a katana (foam covered, of course), whacking the other Yellow Belts in the head and chest. Nun chucks were next, and you could see the boy quivering in excitement—one of his current heroes is Bruce Lee. (In preparation of his going to camp—and in an attempt to make him behave so he’d get to go to camp—we showed him some video clips from Bruce Lee movies on YouTube.) Actually getting to fight with them was the realization of every dream he’s had in the past month.

Robert, Laura and I left at that point to go do some Christmas shopping and visit some friends who live in town (it was four hours of karate class, y’all—I’m dedicated, but c’mon!). By the time we got back, the kids were playing tug-o-war with the instructors. When the instructors ‘lost’ to the kids, they did pushups. I later asked Harrison if he thought it was funny that they had had to do the pushups; he replied, “No, it was awesome!”

Apparently while we were gone, all the belt levels rotated through all the different activities. This means that not only did my son get to work with the nun chucks, he also fought with a bo staff, sai and throwing stars! You cannot imagine the exhausted excitement he was in tonight.

Every time we do something with this karate group, I am more and more grateful that we got involved with them. Harrison has missed his Thursday night classes and I think he’s looking forward to them starting back up in January.

I’m looking forward to it, too.

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