Yeah! What she says!

Yeah! What she says!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Proof That It takes A Village

Captain Dramatic recently tested for his red belt-white stripe in Tae Kwon Do. This moment has been long awaited for the whole family as for a time, we weren't sure we were going to see this day.

Some time ago, Captain Dramatic was at a stage in his life where bad decisions were running rampant. Captain Dramatic stole something, and by doing so, was so far from observing and living by the tenants of Taw Kwon Do, that his instructor, with me in total agreement, decided it was best that he start over as a white belt. At the time, Captain Dramatic had just made it to achieving his blue belt-black stripe (the belt just before his most recently acquired). He was not pleased with having to start over.

When he learned that he would be starting all over, he stated that he no longer wanted to learn Tae Kwon Do, but I was having none of that. I told him that he had to make it back to his blue belt-black stripe before I would allow him to decide he wasn't going to continue. After all, this was an activity that he loved before being made to start at the beginning, and if I allowed him to quit he would learn nothing.

He complained nightly for weeks, but I didn't let him get away with that either. I reminded him that he had done this to himself by making the wrong choices. I told him that he could make the best of the situation, or the worst of it, but that either way it wasn't going to change, and that he would only be making life harder on himself. He tried to make the situation miserable for a time I am sure, but he eventually stopped complaining when he knew it wasn't getting him anywhere, but reminded of his bad decision and sent to his room.

He has since made a lot of changes and done some growing. Not all his decisions are good ones, but most of them are better ones. Not all of his behavior is exemplary, but he has come leaps and bounds from where he was years ago. I would never give up on him, but now there are fewer challenges for us over all. Don't get me wrong, we still have our moments when I have no idea how I am going to get through to him, and there are still arguments and tests of patience, but we trudge right along. It helps that I have an amazing support network, who has proven time and time again, that it does take a village to raise a child.

To all those on the forefront of the battle to raise this son I gave birth to, thank you. Captain Dramatic may not realize it, but this board breaking ceremony wasn't just for him. It was for all of you, because it shows a measure of success on your part. It shows that dedication to a child, and even sometimes, just being more stubborn than said child, does pay off.

Thank you to my mom, and dad, who remind me how much my son and I have in common, and urged me to try martial arts in an effort to help my son down the right path. Who were always there support me in everything I attempted to do, and still are. Who reinforce lessons I try to teach my son.

Thank you to my husband who is a man who volunteered to help raise a child that has become his in every way but blood. Anyone who volunteers for this three ring circus complete with side show, that I call my life, is very special indeed.

Thank you to Sir who never gives up, who is willing to try everything in his power to help his students, their parents, and his community. He leads by example, and is exceptional at being open-minded, fair, respectful of others, and compassionate. He holds his students accountable for their actions, and helps them reach goals that many may not have known were within their reach.

I thank mom, dad, husband, and sir, for holding me up when it got to be too much, and for holding me back when strangulation was on my mind. Thank you for helping me to reinforce morals, goals, and citizenship. Most importantly, thank you for letting me know that I wasn't alone in the fight, and not the only one who cared for my monster. He will remember all of this, and I know for fact that, because his heart is ultimately good, he will one day thank us for our efforts, care and concern. It may be a while before we see this, but I know it will happen.

I will leave you with this video of Captain Dramatic breaking an inch and a half of pine board. As you watch it, try and think of it as I do, as a thank you to those who have given so much of themselves to help my young man find the right path, and as a symbol of the difficulties he has overcome.

There will be more difficulties on his path to adulthood I am sure, but I truly think he is going to make it. Especially if he remembers what he has learned.

Student Oath:
I shall observe the tenants of Tae Kwon Do.
I shall respect my instructors and seniors.
I shall never misuse Tae Kwon Do.
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
I shall build a more peaceful world.

The Tenants of Tae Kwon Do:
Self Control
Indomitable Spirit

As a side note, I have had honesty and integrity down pat for a while, but Captain Dramatic's instruction in Tae Kwon Do has taught me something about my indomitable spirit, and about perseverance as well. In some things my self-control still needs some work... ;)

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