Today I want to take a few minutes and talk about my oldest daughter and son. With all our little loves, many times not on purpose, their achievements go unnoticed….but not today.
This morning I woke up at 4am so I could drive four hours to watch my daughter receive a certificate. The whole “ceremony” if you want to call it that took less than five minutes. Why in the world then did I drive four hours up and four hours back (actually longer my car decided to breakdown) to see this short ceremony? Because that’s what moms do, we support our kids.
Thirteen years ago next month my oldest son, five at the time (let me let that sink in….sigh) wanted to start taking martial arts. After much thought me and their father (now my ex) decided that if our son was going be in martial arts then our daughter would have to be also, so when he started fighting with her or using her to practice with she could hold her own. She was already in dance but agreed to try it out. We looked around at different forms of martial arts and decided on Tae kwon do. In February 2003 my kids took their first steps into the dojang.
They were naturals when it came to the forms and take downs, and of course my son loved the free fighting (my daughter not so much) They quickly moved up in rank. Every three months there was a belt test and every three months they passed. Seeing them together working for something so hard still brings a smile to my face.
In 2008 their father and I divorced. It was not an easy time in their lives and I worried how it would effect them. The dojang, their friends there and their instructors helped them more at that time than I ever imagined. The head of the school Master R. Loved them as his own. He was a man they could look up to and one that they had respect for. He taught them more than just the ways of tae kwon do, he taught them lessons for life in general. I’m not sure they would have stuck with it if it after the divorce if he and his wife had not been their to in courage them to keep moving forward. They helped save my kids from darkness.
Then the unthinkable happened. Their head instructor passed away unexpectedly. One of the biggest influences in their lives (and in the lives of many) was gone. The town was in shock, we are still in shock years later. The fate of the school was unclear, his wife, my dear friend was dealing with so much no one expected her to continue. The students, parents and friends rallied together and keep the school going for her and for him until she could came back or until she decided to close the doors. In time wife was able to make it back and continued where they had left off.
A few years pass by and one Saturday in July came another belt test. This test was special. For the first time in the schools thirty year history a female would test for fourth degree black belt. She did her forms, her one steps, broke her boards and explained her thesis. With her brother,other black belts and lower ranking students surrounding her she passed the test. I am sure Master R was looking down smiling on her that day. Years of practice, sacrifice, discipline and determination had paid off. She had made school history. And together they are the highest ranking siblings at the school.
Today was the day she received her new belt and her certificate. So naturally I had to be there. So yes I drove for hours to watch a ceremony that took less than 5 minutes, and I would do it again. Tae kwon do is not just a form of martial arts for her or my son. It is a way of life, it’s the way they live their lives. They both have made me so proud. And I am sure as she received her certificate making her “officially” a 4th degree black belt 🥋 that Master R was looking down and smiling yet again. So thankful for all he done for my kids and the other students while he was here. His legacy will carry on in those he taught.
Thank you for the memories.
From our beautiful chaos to yours no matter what life throws at you always follow your dreams