Sep 12, 2013

On Being Different

Bennett tells me the other day that he thinks he'd like to take Judo and wants to know where he can sign up.  I tell him that's cool and all but he's going to have to wait until after basketball season.  We have a one extracurricular activity per kid per season rule in our house for our own sanity.  I then proceed to encourage him to google all the Judo schools in the area and let me know which ones look cool and we can look at them together.

I sense he wants to talk more about it before beginning his research so I ask him why he's suddenly so interested in Judo.  He responds with, "Well, just look at Gavin.  He's so strong and muscular and confident now that he's been doing Tae-kwon-do for so long.  I want that too."  That's as close to complimenting his brother as we're going to get.  I told him I agreed with him and can understand.  He admires what martial arts does to a person mentally and physically and he wants in.

He went to look up his new dream and only minutes later came to find me with his hopes shattered and dreams dashed about like broken glass.  Apparently, there are no martial arts schools close enough to home that offer Judo for kids.  Heartbroken.  Now what?

Chuck felt the need to take this discussion further.  He couldn't understand why Bennett didn't want to just go to the same Tae-kwon-do school as Gavin that is 5 minutes from our house and asked him about it? Bennett responds with, "Well....Dad...I don't want to be known as 'Gavin's Younger Brother'.  I want to strike out on my own, do my own thing."

Ahhhh....I see what we have going on here.

"Plus, I like Judo cuz it's Japanese and I like all things about Japan."

Ok, makes sense.

"I just want to be different than Gavin."

Oh to be the middle child.  Or the youngest.  It's got to be hard, always in the shadow of the oldest.  We tried to be very understanding.  Chuck would have preferred practicality since we could have gotten a second sibling discount.  But I completely understood that this is a big deal to Bennett, so we need to make it a big deal to us.  We have to remember his world and concerns are alot smaller than our adult ones.  Although he may admittedly admire his older brother, he wants to try something a little different because he's a little different.  I totally get it.

Unfortunately our search still ended in failure for Judo.  But we were able to find Wu Shu Kung Fu, which is Chinese, but it's training focuses on stamina and strength, two things Bennett values for his basketball.  Plus, as an added bonus, we read these awesome books this summer about these kids and their impressive Chinese Kung Fu skills.  Now that he can relate, he's sold.  Kung Fu is it.

Come April, we might just have two martial artists in this house.
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