I've shared it many times here, but the Boy has developed a real love of music, especially classical music over the past 4 years or so. His dad and I are both music lovers and have played all manner of music for him since he came into this world. But things really took off when he joined the orchestra in 5th grade. He enjoys orchestra. It's his biggest social activity. But it's also a means of expression for him as well as a personal challenge. This morning on the drive to school, he was telling me about some of the advanced students in orchestra - those that he admires and aspires to emulate. I have been so pleased that he made the commitment to stay with orchestra into high school and hope that he will continue with it as long as possible.
In looking back to 2009, I stumbled on this photo of the Boy at a judo belt test:
Oddly enough, as part of this yearly project, I haven't shared many judo photos. For many years though, judo (and other martial arts) was the Boy's biggest confidence booster. What he lacked in size and strength, he made up for with determination and dedication. There were/are so many gifts from being involved in the martial arts for so many years. But for me, seeing the Boy grow in self confidence and in his ability to focus on a desired goal (like earning a new belt or mastering a particular technique) was the best part. I am thankful to every coach, sensei, instructor, and partner he had during his time in martial arts. I hope they all know that he carries a part of them with him where ever he goes.