It was a strange but refreshing request from our very girly daughter: "I'd like to take karate."
In my attempt to make her a more well rounded woman who can defend herself (I know, pretty lofty for a 4 and half year old), I found a karate school close to our house. When it comes to sports, Amelia has a bad track record. She has tried soccer twice, at 2 years old and last year, both times she was ready to quit after a couple of weeks. My husband and I warned her about karate: "you have to pay attention and follow the rules and you have to finish the entire course."
I signed her up for 11 weeks of karate already worried that I would have to drag her there by week 3. Her enthusiasm on the first day said otherwise, but I was still skeptical. This kid loves to dress up and she was loving the karate "uniform" as soon as I put it on her. When class started I noticed the change in her demeanor immediately. The lesson starts with a stretch and I knew that my girl wanted to go straight for the kicks and the screams. She left class three times in one hour:
"This is not that easy, Mama."
"This is not that fun."
"This is not the karate I know."
I sent her back in every time but the second half of the hour she just stood in class disappointed at what she saw. When we got back in the car, I told her she had to go back to class, that she had to give it a chance and that to learn karate she needed to start from the beginning. I admit I was worried about 10 more weeks of my reluctant karate kid.
But the wonderful thing about kids is that they are constantly changing, "growing up", dare I say, maturing. By the time we went to the second class and with her father and I encouraging her, Amelia went in and did the entire lesson without complaints. I was pleasantly surprised and now cautiously optimistic about her future in martial arts (well, these 9 weeks anyway) But no, we are not going back to soccer. Ay Mama!