Friday, November 02, 2007

The Tournament

McRae has been practicing taekwondo since last July.

It all started when we went to see his cousin Luke (who is a year older, and therefore greatly admired in McRae's eyes) in a belt ceremony. There was much yelling and kicking and hitting of boards. There was jumping and twisting and moves that defied gravity. It was right up McRae's alley.

Join now and receive 2 weeks free and a free uniform!

The promotional offer was the icing on the cake, and we left the busy auditorium full of kids in white taekwondo uniforms with various colored belts with a stack of joining papers, a class schedule and a very happy 9-year-old.

McRae took to taekwondo beautifully.

Having finished, but not been very enthused (and bored to tears, plucking worms from the grass in the outfield) during his last year of playing baseball, we'd been looking for a sport or activity that would better suit his personality and interest. Taekwondo seemed the perfect fit because the program not only reinforced good behavior at home and at school with it's "5 stripe program", but also allowed our agile, nimble and energetic son to display some of the talents that we'd seen as he leaped over fences since he could walk.

He progressed nicely through the school year, earning his stripes on his color belts as he went. Any time his behavior would slip at home, all I had to do was mention the instructor's name and I would see an immediate look of terror.

He practiced and memorized his "poomse", the taekwondo term for a series of coordinated movements that accompany each color belt and must be performed perfectly in order to advance to the next level, with ease and never seemed to struggle, let alone, be bored. I was amazed at the skill and strength it took to get through each level, and as the months progressed and the belt ceremonies were completed, McRae showed us, in so many ways, how taekwondo had become his "thing".

He had found his "thing". Finally.

And now, tomorrow, he will compete in his first ever tournament.

And I won't be there.

Brett and I are going, with our two very best friends, to spend the weekend in Seattle and see the hilarious Jim Gaffigan. We get to stay in a fancy hotel and have cocktails at 3 in the afternoon if we want. We can walk to Pike Place and people watch, without kids. We even get to have dinner without cutting up anyone's food or taking somebody to the bathroom 8 times (let's hope not, anyway!). We bought our tickets as soon as the show was announced, many months before we knew about the tournament.

This little bit of adult fun is the postponement of our anniversary gift from September and the promise of a little time away from the kids. It is needed. Very needed.

But I'd be lying if I said a huge part of me wasn't a little sad that I wasn't driving my little taekwondo guy, instead of my parents (who are the best grandparents in the world) to his tournament and cheering him on.

It's this balance, between kids and your "other" self, that can rip even the toughest mother (and I am not saying that is me) to shreds. And I know that he, and the other 2, will be in good hands, but I'm a little sad that I won't be there too.

Go, McRae, Go!


LindaJ said...

Go McRae...Kick some butt! We are so proud of you!! i will take good care of your mom..Promise!

Auntie Linda

Alexandra's World said...

Awesome!! My nephew does TKD also, and loves it. He's also a swimmer. My sister put him in baseball and soccer, and he didn't like it. OH, and he golfs too! There's a sport for everybody!
Good luck, McRae! Your mommy will be thinking of you! :)
Have fun in Seattle!

Kyla said...

Go McRae!!

And Carrie, enjoy your HOOOT pockets! ;)

Not The Mama said...

Oh, how bittersweet. But I'm sure he knows you wish you could be there and that you'll be cheering him on from Seattle.

I hope you have an absolutely fabulous adult weekend. And I hope McRae has a blast at his tournament. I think it's wonderful that you found an activity that means so much to him and encourages such great qualities.

Mrs Pushy said...

Go for the Gold, McRae! Err, I guess I mean the black?

And have fun at your adult getaway. We all need them from time to time, and you'll be a refreshed mom and dad when you get back.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

That photo made me grin from ear to ear.

Cathy said...

I know that feeling of being torn.

But -- enjoy the cocktails and alone time!

And order anyone who will be at the tournament to photograph each and every moment you would want to witness.

Family Adventure said...

Carrie, there'll be other tournaments, if this is anything like my boys' karate.
I hope he has a blast! And that you do, too, in Seattle!

Heidi :)

Pendullum said...

Have the best grandparents in the world tape it...And relive it on video with McRae....
I found with Scooter it helps both her and her dad when he misses a 'moment' due being away on business...

Becc said...

I took TKD when I was in middle school.

Good for her!!!!

Grim Reality Girl said...

TKD is sweeping the nation! My hubby and kids are in it now too! Sorry you had to miss the tournament! Happy anniversary! Balancing is impossible.... we can only do our best! Hope you had a nice time away!

kim said...

awww Carrie ... I know what you mean but you deserve this weekend I hope youre having a blast :)

Yay McRae!

Ann(ie) said...

Your boy will shine and the G's will capture it all and make it the best day ever for him. But, I'm sure it's hard not to be, there. =( I hope you're having a blast on your weekend getaway, though. I"m gonna need some detail:

a.) where'd you eat?

2.) where'd you stay?

4.) how was the show?????

Kristin said...

Jake's been studying karate for about 6 years (we took a year off somewhere in there) and it is one of the best things I could have done for him... the disciple, confidence (especially for a boy - it's good for them to know they could kick some ass if they needed to) have been great...

Hope you have some sexy fun on your adults only weekend!

painted maypole said...

good for you, for going anyways. enjoy your trip, without the guilt. you are there for so much of his life, this one thing will be OK. I promise.

An Ordinary Mom said...

That would be a tough decision to make, but if it matters at all to you, I would have made the same decision. Hopefully McRae will look back at this someday and remember that you took the time for you and your marriage. You are setting an amazing example.

So, how did he do? And how was your getaway?

Becky said...

ooh he's gonna kick butt!