Just a word or two about Taekwondo and Steven. In the past, I had Steven trying out a mess of things he really didn't like, just to try them. The latest was swim team at the local Jaycee pool which he mostly cried over. That wasn't the best choice we ever made.
Since I had a bad experience at a Karate place with Nicholas when he was younger, I was skeptical to try it...even though in the back of my mind, I thought Steven really might be of the temperament to enjoy it.
The Taekwondo school that Nick attended was demanding respect from him without really earning it, and had this sort of "code of honor" thing that felt contrived, it was troubling. And they seemingly were only interested in turning a dollar which they did from us to the tune of about $1500. I paid it all up front because it seemed the cheaper option, but it's not the cheaper option if your kid hates it and doesn't go. So, for me, after the experience, that was it: I was done with the farce called "Karate." (In my mind, right up there with soccer and gymnastics...)
A few months ago, however, my friend and close neighbor Hiliary asked Steven if he wanted to join Noah (her son) for a "buddy day" at his Taekwondo class. Since it was free we were totally up for it, and so, ofcourse, being me, I proceeded to forget to write it down and we forgot to go; but, Hil and Noah, being the gracious type forgave us and told us that we could still come to a free class. We did and it was FANTASTIC. Steven was offered 6 weeks for $50 to try it out. It totally sounded like a scam, but hey, for the summer it was better than comforting him in the early mornings, soaked with pool water and tears, shivering in a speedo. For Steven, once he was kicking, making moves and Karate yells he said sayonara to swimteam and has never looked back.
Getting him to go to class was/is never an issue, he likes it. We signed him up for a year at the end of the six-weeks intro to continue his progress. He likes the events that they offer and he likes the teachers and the children (and some of the teachers are children). He loved their Summer camp, their game day (all day gaming from 2-10 with pizza and snacks and... yes, I mentioned it, all day gaming. :)). He is nurtured and dealt with kindly; he's rewarded for hard work, but never falsely; he's respected and taught well.
This week he is testing for his orange belt. He's advancing enough to get his sparring equipment which is an important rite of passage for the kids. In a few weeks he will be joining the group for their annual Halloween party because they really know how to have plain old fun. And then, come November he'll be attending his first tournament. It's all very exciting and it's wonderful to see him pursuing something that he likes and does well.