It’s hard to believe how time has flown (is it almost July?!) but I have been meaning to write about Isaac’s 5th grade graduation. His school had a special catered presentation at one of the big hotels in Charleston. They had everything fancied up so it would be special for the kids. We knew there would be awards and speeches and typical graduation stuff but we didn’t know what to expect.
After we ate, they started with the awards. There were awards for various things and initially, Isaac didn’t seem to be called for anything. He was not the best singer in the chorus or the best at archery. We didn’t know what to expect but, as parents, we just wanted him to get some award so he could walk up in front of everyone to receive some applause.
Finally they called his name. He marched up sort of shyly and shook hands. We were relieved. Then they called him again…and again…and again. All told, Isaac ended up receiving 9 certificates of various types including the American Citizenship award, the National Young Scholars Award, the DAR Good Citizen award, the President’s Award for Academic Achievement (which included a letter signed by President Obama…very exciting for Isaac!) and the technology student of the year award. I was so worried that he would just receive some award and he blew me out of the water! By the end, his face beamed! He wasn’t arrogant at all. In fact he was a little embarrassed by his repeated trips up to the front. To me, that was all the more indication that he truly deserved every award he received. I could not be more proud!
Jump forward to this weekend. Isaac tested for his blue belt in tae kwon do. The blue belt is the last step before black belt. The testing gets a lot more serious and the number of students testing thins a lot. There were only a few people testing so the the spotlight was really on those folks to perform. Each person did their forms (basically, a routine that shows skills such as balance, focus, etc). Isaac did his cleanly and without problem.
The part of TKD that always worries me is the sparring portion of the instruction and testing. Of course, a large part of TKD is fighting. I mentioned before that it’s a weird feeling that sort of comes over me when I watch my son fight. I want him to be disciplined and focussed and also prepared for things out in the real world. Still, I would much rather he never have to be in any sort of threatening situation.
So, Isaac was paired up for sparring and they started the fight. He quickly landed several punches and kicks. At one point, he knocked his opponent to the ground. It shocked me a little but the boy jumped back up and they continued. Sparring is pretty much full contact. No head shots and no blood are allowed but otherwise, there is quite a bit of freedom. He has gained so much confidence and so many skills in TKD and that was evident as he sparred. I was so proud to see him fight and watch as he just did what he needed to do to fend off the other boy.
I am so proud of my boy!