January 8, 2011
Tough. Sensitive. Focused. Determined.
I can't end this entry with just a photo and a caption. This deserves so much more. Jackson started Karate this week. He's training with a very renowned Sensei. He, the Sensei, is known to be extremely assertive and stern, and this was a hard introduction for my little guy. The first lesson went well, but the introduction to such sternness (coupled with a great deal of praise I might add) was rough on Jackson. He left the lesson in tears, vowing to never return. He's used to, at least in an educational setting, being one of the very "best." He's used to getting answers right and never being scolded or corrected. He really is a terrific student. Something we're very proud of him for because we know it is hard for him sometimes to control frustrations and anger. Knowing he has the potential to do well, I wasn't ready to let him quit after one lesson. We told him he had to give it a full month, and explained that martial arts is a very different sport that depends greatly on discipline and respect.
By the time we were home and the tears had dried, he was ready to show Daddy his moves and his new Gi (his uniform - he's so cute in it). I think he just needed some time to process everything. To reflect that even though the Sensei was tough, he was also kind and generous and helpful. By lesson two Jackson was ready to impress. He listened with open ears and heart, and took to heart any critique with respect. I was astounded that within 2 lessons he was transformed. He tried -- that's all I wanted for him -- and tried hard at that. He wanted desperately to do the moves correctly and to impress the Sensei. We'll see how the next month goes. I hope he'll love the sport and want to pursue it, but if he decides at the end he doesn't want to continue, I'll respect that as well.