Usually while the Boy and the Girl take their Tae Kwon Do classes I am at the gym. I say things to them like, "Mom had a really stressful day and she needs to go work out". It's not a lie, really. Some of the people I have to deal with on a daily basis are what can politely be referred to as bat-shit crazy and that is very stressful. I have a ridiculous commute every day and I am fairly certain that most of the people traveling on Interstate 40 hate me and want me dead. That's very stressful. Also it just occurred to me the other day that I'll be thirty-five this year and for some reason that seems like a VERY BIG LOOMING NUMBER. Not that thirty-five is old. It isn't even remotely old. But it makes me feel like I have to make a whole lot of decisions about my life RIGHT. NOW. That doesn't help me sleep either.
So I'm not lying to my children when I tell them I'm stressed and need to go punch things. That's true.
What I don't tell them is I sometimes just cannot stand to watch them fight.
Specifically? I can't stand to see them get the crap beaten out of them.
They are at the point in their training now that the majority of the other students in their class are black belts. They will test for their black belts in a few months, so they are not far from where the other children are now. But a few months can make a lot of difference, unfortunately, and I as much as I hate to say this? It can make an even bigger difference if you are a girl.
A girl who is...um...blossoming.
Last night I only wanted to run on the treadmill. I had a sharp pain in my back and didn't want to hurt myself by lifting any weights or punching any bags, so I did about thirty minutes on the treadmill and headed back over to the children's school.
They were just getting ready to spar.
So I watched. And basically, I watched the kid that was up against my daughter HIT HER IN THE BOOBS ABOUT TWO HUNDRED TIMES.
Okay, I get it. I do. They can't hit in the head. Or in the face. Or in the back. Or below the belt. So basically that leaves arms and chest. They have to hit her in that general area. The kid hitting her wasn't doing anything wrong and as a little boy of about nine or ten he probably actually has no concept whatsoever of what Girl Child has growing around there. He wasn't doing it to be mean or spiteful, he was just trying to win the fight. I do get all that.
Boy Child could give two craps if you hit him in the chest all day long. Girl Child? Not so much.
Girl Child is also the person I want to be when I grow up. Have I mentioned that?
For she? Was not having any of it.
And after about thirty seconds of having her chest pummeled? She hauled off and punched the kid.
Squarely in the nose.
It was one of those moments that really should be in a movie, you know? It was like everything was in slow motion for a second and the only sound I could hear was the satisfying THWACK of her little red glove hitting that kid right in his face.
Sadly, life is not a movie and the ref called her out immediately.
"NO HITTING TO THE FACE!" he yelled at her.
She opened her mouth to protest but before she could even say a word he said, "NO ARGUING WITH THE REF!"
She didn't say anything. And she shouldn't say anything. She knows the rules, she knows what she did was wrong, and she knows more than any of it that you don't argue with an adult. Particularly a ref.
But still. When the match was over and the ref pointed to her and said, "PENALTY!" I totally said out loud and maybe not in my inside voice,
And so it was.
And it was good.