If you've been reading Carpool Lane for the last two years (wow . . .) then you should know that I have kids who were late to the "I wanna do (insert sport, class, camp)" party.
When presented with a sport, or extra-curricular activity, the years 4-8 were a bear for me. They would express interest in something and then, due to their own nerves, back off from actually giving it a go. There were random swim classes, an art class (I think), one season of soccer and basketball, and a brief stint in gymnastics. But truly, there were way more examples of "I don't want to go" than "I can't WAIT to go!" over the last few years.
They started just before school let out this past June. They clicked with it. Immediately. So much so, that while they could be in the middle of playing or at the pool over the summer, one "Hey, time to get in uniform" from me, and without fail, they'd stop what they were doing and get ready. There was absolutely no hesitation. They would participate in class, practice together at home, and beamed when they earned their first colored belt. They had found their "thing".
So, when we started to have some issues with scheduling at their Karate school, and a few instructor/management hic-ups that made us go "Hmmmmm", we wondered if it might be time to visit another school - especially since they were still so new to their practice.
Discussing this visit with the kids was worrisome for me, for if we decided to attend, they would have to restart back at the lowest belt, AND, learn some new techniques. Would their disappointment over returning to white belt actually paralyze them from wanting to continue? Would the thought of a new school, and new instructors be too much for them? Heck, with my kids, even having them do a trial class wearing a uniform that was different from everyone else could make this a deal-breaker.
When they asked why we were thinking of switching, we were careful. They adored their current school, and we did not want to be disrespectful of it, the owner, or the instructors. We did however, want them to know that we needed a school with a solid schedule and one that was a bit more organized.
Our trial class at the new school was eye opening. Three instructors per class, 2 full studios, gear store, a chance for Harper and Zane to be pulled to the side to work "privately" on what they would need to make up for testing. The kids, while missing their instructors at their school, REALLY enjoyed the whole experience.
We switched. On their first day they were handed personalized binders which included everything they needed to know about the school. It also included a checklist of the guidelines for their belt test in February, in which, due to their skill, they would be allowed to participate, even though they would only have been students of the school for 4 weeks.
We've been there for 2 weeks now. We are still adjusting. Me, to the drive - and not getting to shop at Aldi or hit a coffee shop while they train. The kids are adjusting to learning new techniques, working with new instructors, and just feeling like the new kid in a new environment. It's just all so new. But they are just as committed as they have always been.
And I'm proud of the way they are adjusting.
It's pretty cool to watch your kids grow up . . .
Joline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel and the newly debuted SlimSavers.com. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.