Thursday, May 23, 2013

Random Chatter and Knowing the Perfect Punch

 I love that sleepy feeling you get after you're back into warm, dry clothes and have a cup of tea in your hands.

It's wet out there today. The trail was overgrown and mucky, yet it was wonderful being out and about, chatting with my friend about kids and school. I love how we realize that we can use a little bad language for emphasis since there are no kids around, for example when I stepped into the muck with my brand new running shoes. I really didn't plan this hike all that well. Wrong shoes, forgot my rain coat.

When I got back, I put on my pajamas and got to work in the kitchen, making beef stroganoff for dinner and chili for lunches while I listened to the radio.

There was a lot of news after that. Nationally, the Boy Scouts finally got onto the right track and no longer denies boys membership based on sexual orientation. Now, that's a step in the right direction. Way to go Boy Scouts! I'm just hoping they can bring themselves to agree that it shouldn't matter for adults either. Hey, if the military can do it ...

Locally, Nick told me that he didn't have the same problems with his vision that he'd had in class on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The bruise on his brain is beginning to heal. That meant that he could go to karate, if only to move silently as he practiced his forms. No sparring tonight. No sparring tomorrow night either. The doctor has him returning to his normal activities in stages with the last stage being contact sports. Nick informed me that one of the kids likes to punch him in the face. That's contact! Great.

Mike and all the senseis Nick has ever had insist that sparring is an important part of learning the forms. I guess I'm just not fond of the idea that some kid is hitting my kid and this is sanctioned activity. I can see why I'd like to learn karate. Who wouldn't want to know how to throw the perfect punch when it comes to that moment? But I have no desire for my boy to get hit in the process. I have to stop and remember that there have been very few times when I felt it necessary to throw a punch or a kick. I can count four and I managed quite well without training. I even pulled one of the punches at the last second. Just making the right movement was all it took to make these two bullies leave me alone.

Mike tells me that boys are different? Are boys different? I asked him how many fights he'd gotten into and, even growing up in New Jersey, he admitted there were none. My point exactly. Still, Nick has used his karate to block blows from four kids that I know of. Oh, he's pretty transparent for now, so I probably do know about all of them. That'll change soon enough. I guess it makes sense for him to learn karate. He gets confidence from it. Plus, it's really great exercise. I'm not sure I could do even one of those frog hops they do over and over and over.

So, the problem I had was that I'd already gotten comfortable in my pajamas and didn't want to go out again. Damn. I got ready anyway. I went.

When we got back, I jumped into my pajamas again and landed on the couch with Mike and Nick. We watched the news about the bridge collapse on I-90. I wanted to post a Facebook status that said, "Dear Mom, I'm okay. I wasn't on the bridge and I promise I didn't make it collapse.' Mike said it would be insensitive. It was really strange watching the people sit on top of their cars while the rescue people tried to get to them safely. They said three people were rescued and two went to the hospital. That's an amazingly low number, I think. That part of the road is almost always busy when I'm on it. I chattered away at the way the news people were presenting the information, commenting on the safety issues, on the rescue, on the anchor's chatter. I wonder, sometimes, if Mike would rather listen to the news than my commentary on it.

Then, after switching to national news to see if the bridge news made it that far, we watched President Obama's face as an interloper interrupted his speech. It was so stupid. This woman was screaming her opinions about drones and Guantanamo, issues which the President was trying to discuss, issues he's trying to solve. She had no interest in letting him actually discuss how. Sometimes I think his presidency will be defined by stupid acts like that, other people interfering with the way he's trying to solve problems we all agree need to be addressed. The woman was seriously annoying. I have to tell you if I had been a spectator standing next to her, it would have been a good thing I didn't know just exactly how to throw that perfect punch.

Thank you for listening, jb

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