by Marinka on December 20, 2009

This weekend,  my kids had their karate promotion test. My son was selected for some more intense fighting and although I thought that he did really well, when he took the headgear off, I could see that he was crying.  Also, everyone who had eyesight could see that he was crying, because it wasn’t one of those stifled sobs, but I’m his mother, so I know that he’s crying cries, it was full on, I can’t contain it crying.

I saw his Sansei approach him and talk to him, and I heard him telling her that it hurt to breathe and that everything just hurt.  And I heard her tell him that karate is like real life and it does hurt.  And that it’s emotional and that it’s hard.  It took everything that I had in me not to MY BABY! rush to the mat and sweep him up in my arms.  Husbandrinka, at that exact moment, was checking his BlackBerry.

When the promotion test was over, I talked to Young Ladrinka.  “You did so well,” I told him.  “You must be feeling proud.”

“It hurts, mom,” he told me. He was calming down, but still sobbing.

“I know it does,” I told him. “It hurt me to watch.  But you were tough.”

He went to change.

I changed too.  Possibly forever.

Because not everyone can be a mother of a blue belt.

One year ago ...

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

December 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Wow. Just wow. You are awesome.


Tasha December 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Wow, you just totally made me cry and also made me decide that my boys will never join Karate. Seriously though, this is obviously from a loving Mom’s heart, so touching.


December 20, 2009 at 3:01 pm

sometimes looking at a BlackBerry is all a father’s got to stop him from showing how much it hurts to see his son in pain.


Marinka December 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I asked Husbandrinka about this and he totally denied it. But I said “excuse me, but I think that peajaye and I know a little better than you about what’s going on.” So, I believe, that case is closed.


foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) December 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Oh, yes. I know this feeling. I’ve looked up at the gymnasium lights in an attempt to blink away my own welling tears in response to my child’s a few times, so yes.


Marinka December 20, 2009 at 8:34 pm

When my daughter was in gymnastics, I could not watch. Because all I could see was “traction”. And I didn’t want to see that. I was so happy when she stopped doing it.


Scary Mommy
December 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Fuck. I dread this. Hugs, M. Even though you hate them.


Holli December 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm

These things definitely hurt us moms more than our kids. An hour later he’d forgotten and you are changed forever.

Motherhood is painful and the most fulfilling thing in life!


Marinka December 20, 2009 at 8:34 pm

It’s unbelievably painful, and I know I’m really lucky.


Reiven December 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Thank you for sharing such a poignant experience with us.

I admire the way all of you contributed to this rite of passage so perfectly.
Ladrinka kicked through to a new level of self respect, life and karate.
You and his sensei offered wisdom, support and love.
And Husbandrinka? Yeah, I totally agree with Peajaye.

I only wish more children could experience their challenges with such caring guardians.


Marinka December 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Thank you. It shocked me because I so wasn’t prepared for it.


anna see December 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Wow. We will have no blue belts in this family. I do know I’ll share that wisdom today that life is hard and it hurts.


Masala Chica
December 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm

That is pretty intense to go through as a mother. My kids are little now and while I think martial arts are a great way for them to learn discipline, become skilled and learn how to kick some sketchy character in an alley’s butt – I will be scared, terrified of the day I will have to witness such things. Kung Fu Panda is as much martial arts as we can handle right now.

Kudos to you.


Marinka December 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm

lol about Kung Fu Panda.
Seriously though, Karate has been so important to them and it’s amazing discipline. It’s hard.


December 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Ack. This is rough. Wow.


Toni December 20, 2009 at 8:16 pm

WE have no belts of any kind in our family, that is such an awesome achievement. Congrats to you and him 🙂


December 20, 2009 at 8:18 pm

This is so hard, and I know that no matter what sports I do or don’t let my son do, there will be moments like this where he has to cope with hurt and grow up a little before my very eyes. But you did just make me secretly glad that we put off karate this fall in favor of soccer for the spring. Hugs to you, my friend.


Marinka December 20, 2009 at 8:37 pm

I’m not going to mention the kind of injuries I’ve seen at soccer games, ok?


December 20, 2009 at 9:30 pm

i don’t think i could ever let my kid participate in karate. i took it in college and it was hard enough for me to handle. not sure i could contain myself if he got injured. my son has started learning some moves from watching movies and tv shows with kung fu type action. he has asked if he can take classes. i say my standard, “no, too dangerous.” i think golf and tennis are much safer, until someone beams him with a ball, or swings a club/racket at him. take care and congrats on Ladrinka’s blue belt.


abdpbt December 20, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Ouch. This is a great read. But don’t tell me this kind of stuff. I’m still dealing with biting in preschool, not life lessons and injuries as metaphors for the struggles of life!


December 20, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Went through something similar watching my son at Krav Maga. It is hard to see the kids like that.


Maureen@IslandRoar December 21, 2009 at 12:46 am

Oh, man, sometimes I think we feel their pain more than they do. And certainly longer.
Really poignant post.


December 21, 2009 at 9:46 am

You are tougher than I am.


christy December 21, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I don’t know that I could have held myself back. Motherhood is hard.


December 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Great view point.
It’s so hard to rush onto that mat when you see your kid get a hit that staggers them back and brings tears not just to their eyes, but to yours as well.

My petite 11 year old daughter just got her Brown Belt and that was hard to watch. But the pride on her face when they called her name and presented her the new belt was worth all the shots leading up to that moment.


Madge January 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Oh those moments when you want to grab them and say “NOT MY BABY” they kill me. This was such a beautiful post.


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