Sunday, December 16, 2012

Surrounded by Reminders

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I worked the midnight to eight shift, then returned home to clean myself up and bust out the old suit and tie before heading down to Manhattan for my volunteer gig, and our annual holiday luncheon. I arrived at the dojo late, our first class (8 and 9 year old girls- the boys and girls have separate groups, which makes changing after swim class easier) was getting ready to leave (my counterparts Frenchy the Paisano, Handsome Al from Brazil, and the Moroccan George Clooney ran the class... it's nice to be part of an ensemble cast). As soon as they saw me, the girls mobbed me, and peppered me with questions: "Where were you? Why were you late?" I explained to them that I had to work overnight (this confused them, so I had to explain that certain jobs require around-the-clock coverage). I then showed them pictures of my workplace, and my precious kitties. I made sure that I spent some time talking to each and every one of them. I have to say, there is no group of human beings on the planet who are more loving and caring than a bunch of young children... our kids are good to each other, and good to us old geezers.

Our next class was our "under eight" group- I think the youngest ones are five. We split the rather large group up, and I reviewed o soto gari with my subgroup (we had a newcomer, who I paired her up with Charlotte, a tiny six-year-old bruiser who is really good about helping her partners), and I taught them o uchi gari. I was so proud to see them working together so beautifully. Afterward, we had them all line up for randori- as always, it was hilarious to see a bunch of Very Small Children throwing a bunch of big guys around. Again, I made sure I spent a little time with each of our students.

After class, we all assembled and had a nice semi-formal luncheon. The kids sang carols. It was a really nice day, but there was an undercurrent of melancholy... Sitting with the other coaches at an "adults only" table, we discussed the horrific event of the day before. Most of the victims were in the age range of the classes we taught. As much as I don't like to play favorites, the little kids are the most fun to teach- they have no preconceived notions, they are enthusiastic, they are affectionate. As much as I joke about throwing them around like they were boxes marked "fragile" and I was working in a WalMart Distribution Center, they are vulnerable. I can't even fathom wishing to hurt one of them.

Cherish the children... that's the takeaway... cherish the children.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Good on you, B^4.

P.S. Link one: For those of you who wonder why the issue of reasonable gun control is as dead as Diogenes, Bill Clinton explains in his autobiography, "My Life"

Link two: Even after Newtown, Americans will resist Obama's call to tighten gun laws

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I feel the same way about the karate kids, , B. Even the ones that are aggravating....

Laura said...

5-10 year old kids really are at a great age. I can't imagine anyone wanting to do to them what was done.

It must make you feel really great when they all gather around and tell you that you were missed. :)


OBS said...

I thoughtlessly turned on the news while eating breakfast this morning. My wife was in tears as she headed out to drive to work -- teaching 5th grade. Gonna be a rough day.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Ya know, the whole bit about showing the kids pictures of Fred, Ginger, and Moses could best be summed up as:

"Mah Precious Kiddehs, Meet Mah Precious Kittehs!"

Smut Clyde said...

I feel the same way about the karate kids, , B. Even the ones that are aggravating....

The Doktorling teaches a kids' class in Taekwondo and describes her wee charges in very similar terms.