Monday, February 15, 2010

Want to play a Game?

Chess has always intrigued D. On Saturdays when time allows we go to the library where they have an open chess club. This past Saturday the boys were excited to go and upon arriving at the library the boys scanned the room. There was 8-10 young boys (ages ranging from 7 - 14) along with 6 adults. Once a table became free, D's eyes lit up and he was ready to give it a shot. An 11 year old boy invited D to play and cautiously I watched this play out. Knowing this boy played chess often, I did not know what to expect. My concern was that D knew how to play the chess pieces but not necessarily how to protect them (the strategy behind the game).

I watched as my son played his first competitive chess match. There were many wins for him throughout the game (what glee in his eyes when he captured the bishop). But as time continued on, D was left with only his king and 3 pawns. Tears started to well in his eyes knowing defeat was upon him. I let D know he could keep playing or he could drop his king and say "good game" to his competitor. I truly expected a complete meltdown and a table to be overthrown (pieces flying everywhere). D extended his hand (grudgingly) and a lesson was learned. Withing 5 minutes, JP jumped in and played with D and life moved forward (brother against brother).

A lesson was learned that day. As another adult said to me as he watched this game play out, "It is never easy to lose, losing still hurts and we are adults". I don't like watching my kids lose. Yet today's loss felt so much like a win. A leap of faith for D to play, lose, and play again. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Karate Kid

D is a Karate Master. Well, I am not sure about the exact discipline but he is currently training in a form of Shaolin Kung Fu. Today, D completed an intensive 45 minute test and received his YELLOW BELT.

I watched the entire session while the rest of the family went shopping. Now I know why I needed to be alone. Throughout the session I continually choked up and cried. There was a sense of fatherly pride. There was a sense of shock in seeing his attention, interaction and discipline. Mostly, I was overcome with a realization of how far a road we have traveled. Today was a step forward.

We closed the day with a celebratory trip to Pizza Hut and watched the movie, "Karate Kid". David and I entwined under a blanket on the couch giggling to the instructions "wax on, wax off". During a "fight scene" I looked at D and said, "What's he doing?". D said, "He's doing my moves!".

Today was a day the student became a teacher.
Well done son....well done.