Friday, January 25, 2013

Could I Have This Dance?

Yes, today I'm channeling Anne Murray. But seriously, who doesn't love to dance (on some level)?! Even those of us who have two left feet can't help but start to sway when the beat is just right. And what about the rush of your first dance with your true love? It doesn't matter if you do little more than hug and rock back and forth from foot to foot. It'll still be a magic moment.

Wonder Boy has always had an affinity for music. Even as a baby he was drawn to a thumping beat and a good rhythm. He got a chance to shake, rattle, and roll in school from preschool all the way through his current Intermediate school. Movement is good for kids and what better way to get them moving than a lively tune?

That brings us to late December. A couple of dear friends decided to tie the knot and we got word there would be a dance floor and DJ at the reception following the service. FUN!

But I didn't expect Wonder Boy to take to it quite as much as he did. Not long after the bride and groom had their opening dance, other couples joined them on the floor. Wonder Boy took the opportunity to invite me for a spin around the room. And I gladly accepted! This was his first "official" dance. We've twirled around the living room together, but never out in public.

We had a great time! And Wonder Boy invited just about any familiar female at the wedding to try to keep up with him. Wonder Dad and I sat and watched and marveled at his energy and zeal. He was the LIFE of the party, imho. And he just couldn't get enough. Wonder Dad and I tried to sneak in a dance with just the two of us, but Wonder Boy quickly made it a group activity. We didn't' mind too much though. We know the days of him enjoying a dance with his parents are short lived, so we are enjoying it while it lasts.

I can't help but let my mind drift to all of the dances yet to come for Wonder Boy ... homecoming dances, proms, graduations, and one day maybe we'll find our way back to the dance floor together at his wedding. Heaven help me. :+)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Going Greek

Wonder Boy is starting a module on Greek mythology at school. He came home today all fired up about the tale he learned today - all about the Sun God (Helios) and his demigod son (Phaeton). He spun a story about Phaeton's first (& last) ride through the sky in his dad's chariot of fire.

Wonder Dad couldn't help himself. He convinced Wonder Boy that the true point of the story was NOT a tale of creation and how volcanos came to be on Earth, but rather a morality tale about the ills of a son learning to drive.

I confess to a great deal of mirth on my part. I couldn't contain the giggles. The whole scene touched my funny bone in ways I couldn't have guessed.

I am really glad he is so excited about school. We have been introducing the Greek myths through modern fiction, like the Percy Jackson books written by Rick Riordan, for some time now. He is comfortable with the idea of the gods and their half human children influencing life for the rest of us here on Earth. He seems genuinely excited about learning the "back story" to some of his favorite tales.

I always enjoyed mythology myself. It is easy to get lost in the myths. You can imagine yourself with super human attributes, saving the day, creating something grand. What could be more fun?!

I hope there is some homework involved so we can all get a taste!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Judo Boy

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, someone is playing "Sunrise, Sunset." And once again, it is hitting me just how fast time flies when you have a child.

When I was a kid, it seemed like I would never grow up, that time moved so very slowly. Everything seemed so far away.

But since Wonder Boy was born, life has been on fast forward. And it seems like I can barely hold onto a moment before 10 more have flown by and some other milestone has been reached. *sigh*

Please understand that I am not complaining! It's one of those bitter sweet truths of being a parent, I think. And there are moments when it takes me by surprise.

What sparked this particular moment of reflection, you ask? Wonder Boy had a belt test at judo class last night. Yes, that's all it takes.

He passed with flying colors, of course. In fact, I think it might have been his best belt test yet. And I guess that is what you would hope for - improvement with each passing test, each year, etc. But something about his performance last night just struck a chord with me. I don't know if it was the confident way he approached each question, each technique, each opportunity to shine, or what. But whatever the case, it really got me to thinking about how far he has come.

He started martial arts while still in preschool, in a class designed for young kids. He had fun but was always a touch timid. He can be a bit shy. Then in Kindergarten, he started judo and it has been a great fit from day one. Even though he was often the youngest and smallest in class, he was having so much fun, that he rarely seemed to notice that he was so young and so small.

Fast forward though the years to last night and you would never, ever guess that he had ever been anything but completely confident in himself. He just oozed faith in his abilities.

I don't think there was a person there last night that didn't feel it. My heart nearly popped right out of my chest, I was so overcome with pride. Even Wonder Boy's instructor made a point of remarking on his excellent performance. We were all caught up in just how far he has progressed in the many years he has been studying judo.

Wonder Dad and I endured some questioning about starting him in the martial arts at such a young age. People worried he would learn to be a bully. But anyone who has studied the martial arts, ANY of the martial arts, can tell you that the opposite is true. What the kids learn is discipline, self confidence, respect, and patience. True, they learn how to defend themselves. But they also learn how to avoid potentially dangerous physical encounters. And they learn that honor and dignity are much more important than being the baddest guy on the playground.

Wonder Boy has learned all of these lessons and more as he has walked the path of the Martial Way. My hope and dream is that he will continue to walk this path and glean from it the innumerable values and benefits that the martial arts offers.