Thursday, January 20, 2005

The boys redeem themselves

Another small class today, smaller than Tuesday's. I remind the boys that they need to be on their best behavior, and they are.

I always begin my workout with a nice easy sun salutation stretch, from yoga. Carol used it in ballet, and I've gotten used to it. This time, Patrick and Mr. Houtz join me, but Robbie and Eli do not. I point out that it's a good stretch for cold muscles and gently (I hope) bring up the fact that I don't like heavy-duty stretching before warming up . . .

I don't want to be bossy, but I do want to protect my body. I'm not sure how one diplomatically and humbly disagrees with practices in something like martial arts. Maybe I'm just too opinionated. OK, I am.

Anyway, our class goes very smoothly. Mr. Houtz lets each person lead a bit of the warm up portion. Everyone does well; Eli does surprisingly well. His self-confidence is good today.

Of course, everyone wants to break boards; it was promised last time. I have my camera so I can catch Robbie and Eli. I'm not sure I was successful, but it was fun to watch Robbie break on his first try and Eli break with the assistance of Tim Conlon, Patrick's dad. "Santa helped me break," Eli tells Bruce at supper.

While the children play one last game of tag, Mr. Houtz and I practice three-step sparring, something I'd wanted to practice again. It's highly stylized, yet cruel. A choreographed punch to the stomach. A grab of the neck, pull down and knee to solar plexus. Back of the fist to face. It seems crazy to learn this.

We all leave happy. I'm especially happy that the boys have redeemed themselves with good behavior. I want everyone to know they are good boys, and, OK, I want to be reassured that I'm raising them right.

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