Sunday, June 11, 2006

Photographer boy

Robbie's been my photographer at the last 2 or 3 promotional tests at TKD. He likes to fiddle with my digital camera, make movies, and take photos. I like him to be there, in that friendly and disciplined space, doing something he enjoys, being around people who know him and care about him.

This time, I wasn't sure if he'd make it. The test was scheduled for 9 a.m., so I was leaving the house at 8:30--earlier, I thought, than he'd want to leave Saturday morning cartoons.

"Hey Robbie, you wanna take pictures at the test today?" I yelled.

There was a pause.

"No, I'm gonna stay here and build with LEGOs," he said.

So I headed for the door. But as I opened it, Robbie yelled from the living room. "I changed my mind. I'll go."

He trotted in and grabbed my cameras. "But I don't like Tae Kwon Do, and I'm not gonna talk to anyone."

He bolted past me and into the car.

I'm not sure what this "not gonna talk to anyone" thing is all about. Especially with Robbie, who practically does not shut up when he's with me. When we're together, it's "Mom" this and "Mom" that. At one point on the trip to Wisconsin with the TKD group, he was talking just about non-stop, he was so excited.

But he can also do that sullen, silent pre-teen "not gonna talk" thing. I've seen him do it at church, and even at school. "Robbie's a smart kid. But I wish he'd participate in class discussions more," said his teacher at one point. Are we talking about the same kid? I thought.

When we arrived at the dojang, Savaun said "hi" to Robbie, who did not say anything. This annoyed me, as they had always liked hanging out together when R was in TKD. Maybe he was embarassed.

But Robbie had fun taking photos. You may have seen the "movie" of sparring that he made--on the previous day's blogpost. Here are some more of his shots.

Here we are doing basic moves. You can see how big our dojang is and how small our testing group was.

Here I am sparring with Mindy and then with Pam. Both are a good challenge!

Robbie took some photos of other people sparring--and having a good time. Here's Savaun and someone else.

Brian A. is sparring Grace here.

I'm glad Robbie got photos of my elbow strike break. Master Hughes and Mr. Houtz are holding for me, just like they did for that photo of me doing a flying side kick break when I was an orange belt!

At the end of the test, Master Hughes announced that he hoped to have a picnic out at his Dad's house where kids could ride a go-cart, ATVs, and mini-bikes. Robbie's eyes lit up. "I'm going!" he said. And on the way out, we chatted with John and Dillon about computer games and CGI.

I really wish Robbie was still in Tae Kwon Do. It is such a great way to direct and control energy. Robbie has a lot of energy, and he's not always good at directing and controlling it. But he really lost interest in Tae Kwon Do, and despite my encouragement and firmness, it eventually became too much of a struggle; he didn't see how to make it his own. Going to Tae Kwon Do became something I decided on and controlled, not Robbie. That was enough to make him rebel against it.

And that's probably where that "I'm not going to talk to anyone" thing came about. He wants to tell me that he's in control when it comes to his Tae Kwon Do future.

Still. If Robbie can be part of this wonderful group at least sometimes--as photographer, as event-attender, as black-belt-cake-eater--I'll be happy. I believe he'll soak up some of the goodness of our dojang in those small doses.

1 comment:

Miss Chris said...

Great pics. I wish I had some good ones to post but our exams are always so crowded it's hard to get a good shot. I agree with you that it's hard to hear that we "older athletes" get injured more because of our age. I feel young on the inside but I hate that my body won't always cooperate! The teens in our teen/adult class always think it's funny that the adults are always in some kind of pain. We keep on telling them it will happen to them someday soon and enjoy your youth and flexibility while you still have it.