as in "hot" because it was 90-something degrees and humid... NOT cuz it was "hot," hot.
The Sun was in a tournament in New Jersey on Saturday. As BigSensei said "Next time we stay over" cuz we were all supposed to meet at the dojo at 6:30A, and leave at 7P. Well, we left closer to 7:20A and rolled in about 8A when registration was supposed to start. We were the first ones there. Which wasn't a bad deal since it meant we got to score our spot in a corner and camp out (sometimes at big tourneys "camp-out" space is at a premium and people can get really territorial) but getting up and moving that early on a hot-ass Saturday was a bit of an effort. Us moms are getting smart, though... we all brought our own food so we didn't have to be at the mercy of the locals. Cuz you never can tell what you're going to get... sometimes there's a hot dog stand... sometimes there ain't.
The bad part was that the Sun and I had to leave earlier and spend money on a cab to get there by 7A, and it also meant my poor little man had to get up like it was a school day. And since I'd had no sleep I was running on "auto". But we made it.
He was one of the first to go up for forms, and he was a little off his game but he got third place. I had signed him up for point sparring during pre-registration, but the tourney folk had registered him for self-defense so he and BigSensei went to correct the situation. The Sun came back and informed me he was going to enter the Continuous Contact event.
"Are you sure?" I asked, but he said he was. And he bravely got in the ring and got chased around, and cried, and Shihan kept asking if he wanted to continue, but he said no and he finished the bout. And later he volunteered to try again with another kid, a white belt, who was just as scared as he was, but the Sun was even more scared than he and got chased around some more and cried, and Shihan stopped the fight.
I've been doing some pondering on the whole thing, cuz he doesn't like sparring at all... and I was surprised he signed himself up for continuous contact. Which, if you don't know, is really kickboxing--but a 2 minute round with no stops unless someone REALLY needs it or falls or something. Since kickboxing is sanctioned, they can't call it kickboxing matches, but that's what they are. Some kids are amazingly good at it... the Sun is one of those who isn't.
Parents sound horrified when I joke about him being chased around the ring, crying (and the sun has this really distinctive high-pitched cry he does when he's mad/overwhelmed)... but a.) I know he's not getting seriously hurt b.) if he really wanted to quit he would and no one could stop him from doing so c.) Shihan is usually the one to referee these bouts (at least all the ones we've been to lately) and the Sun adores and trusts Shihan d.) the Sun could use some toughening.
Later on both Senseis got on me about babying him... I told them both, "Look, I am mother." I don't consider my protecting and comforting him as "babying" but call it what you will that's my job. I recognize that if he lived in a two-parent household, there would be someone to play badcop to my goodcop. And there isn't one here, so I said to LittleSensei in particular, since he was the one making the most noise "well, that's your job." I said that unfortunately, the Sun is only exposed to Yin in our house... he definitely could use some "Yang" but I can't supply it. BigSensei said well, it was my job to be both Yin and Yang, and I told him I'm just too damned tired right now.
But I think about it... I know that two minutes can seem like an awfully long time when you're simply watching, and to actually be in the ring for two minutes must seem a lifetime. I don't know that I'll ever be able to do it... but in the back of my heart it's a goal of mine. So I don't get on the Sun about crying or being overwhelmed... and I was so extraordinarily proud of him for trying, for finishing, and for trying again. He's such a brave little boy, a stalwart, and never a quitter... I hope that one day that quality will do him well.
The Senseis kidded around with the Sun a bit, and he got steamy with LittleSensei but then he laughed after awhile. BigSensei's wife said that her son used to fight like my Sun... with his back to the opponent, and I took that as encouragement. Cuz the kid is pretty good now, and won his match.
Our kids did really well... came home with lots of 1st place and 2nd place tropies and they were all so proud of themselves. They're really cute kids... and I'm particularly fond of the girls cuz they keep up. One little tiny one, about 6, beat two boys in her age group in sparring, to win 2nd place in a field of about 5 kids... crying the entire time.
BigSensei's wife dropped us off at the subway once we were back in the Bronx, but by the time the train pulled into the terminal depot, the hordes were coming off of Oye Beach, and every available bus was simply running back and forth from the train station to the beach. So our bus home TOOK FOREVER to come... and then we sat in unbelievable traffic. We couldn't walk cuz we had too much stuff.
On Sunday, we were geared up to go to the Pow Wow, but it was hot... and the Professor was being particularly passive-aggressive so finally I called it... I said it was too hot... the Sun didn't really want to move from the couch anyway so just keep the same time schedule and come up to visit me on the Rock.
Since she was in bitchy mood and felt compelled to shout me out about getting on her nerves, I'll just say the major thing my loving sister does that gets on my nerves is dilly-dally when she doesn't really want to do something. It makes me nuts... and then she takes on the role of rounding up folks and being a martyr, which eats up her time even more so by the time she got to my house she was particularly foul.
And since the Sun and I had expected the family up within an hour ( and they took so long that they got stuck in the inevitable traffic) when they finally showed up 3 hours later I wasn't quite as annoyed as I became... we'd sat in the house all day doing nothing expecting them momentarily.
I could have spent the day doing other things had I known nobody really wanted to come up to see me, particularly when they get here and start throwing daggers.
The Sun and I had wanted to show the folks the shortcut through the woods to the beach, and surprisingly everyone (except Poppy) came along and halfway enjoyed it. Even though our Native Eastern Woodland ancestors were probably shaking their heads in shame as the entourage crashed and complained through the woods... about the humidity, the "giant" bugs, the lurking fungus. Only TinyOne did his ancestors justice, perched atop his Mooma's shoulders, dancing and singing along the path, barefoot, barechested and baggypantsed in the heat. The Sun rode his bike.
The beach was swarmed... but quickly cleared when distant lightening was seen hitting the water, so we crashed home again and then went to eat. The dinnerplace was decided by the two most adamant in the family but it was good (and it was free, for me) so I ain't complainin'. Sometimes family is like that but I love them anyway.