First up this year was James with his karate belt test. This was his second belt test - the first being just before Christmas. Truth be told - this was the make up belt test - the original was scheduled the Saturday before Mothers Day when he was sick and couldn't breathe.
I've never been a fan of martial arts or self-defense or what at times appears to be intentional fighting (think Karate Kid - wax on, wax off) ... sorry ... distracted. But I have to say, I love this class. I love the instructors - and the message they are teaching the kids. Respect. Obedience. Discipline. And perhaps most important to our extremely out-going boy - Stranger Danger.
James is a wild boy - always flitting around or flopping around - can't seem to sit still - will flutter his hands in frustration - giggle incessantly - basically a hot mess. But when its time for karate - he actually pays attention. We arrived a few minutes early for the test - and as we sat there waiting (while corralling Jack and Anna) we commented that seeing James sit on the mat for that long was perhaps the longest we'd ever seen him sit still. (Unless he's belted and strapped into a carseat ...)
And when he'd get the sillies and start acting crazy - all it took was Mr. Mike to come by and give him The Look to make him sit up and pay attention.
I think we'll be continuing karate in the fall.
He did a great job - and proudly received his solid yellow belt.
Anna's annual dance recital was next. Due to scheduling issues with her dance studio - the dress rehearsal and performance were scheduled for the same day. Let me repeat that. Dress rehearsal and performance. On. The. Same. Day. That just also happened to be on my birthday.
So I packed Anna up - slicked back hair and made up face and all - and headed to Lexington High School for the 9am call for rehearsal. And stayed with her until the final curtain following the 3pm performance.
Thank goodness two of my bestest buddies also had girls (including EG, Anna's bff) in the performance - so we could commiserate, assist each other with hair and make up corrections, share snacks and activities, get light-headed from the amount of hair spray circulating the small windowless room we were held captive in with the multiple classes of tulle-clad girls, and generally laugh at the pure insanity of it all.
We did get out for one break at lunch - where we ate outside at a local restaurant - allowing the girls to run and giggle and play in the fountain (despite being told to stay dry) while we gossiped and giggled and enjoyed each other's company.
It was a good time.
And my little ballerina continued to shine. It reminded me of the dance recitals and performances my mom and I attended - when I was the tulle-clad, shellacked hair, made-up dancer and my mom was there to reapply and arrange and entertain.
And tears still came to my eyes when I saw Anna come on stage - and I silently clasped my hands to keep from reaching for my own mom's hand.