I Did It All For The Gadgets

Humble Pride

There's nothing quite like those moments -- those rare public moments when the child you've spent years of your life raising as a kind, empathetic and polite human being opens his mouth...and says the most impulsive, selfish and socially tone-deaf thing he could possibly come up with. In front of God, everybody and at least 50 other adults with video cameras.

So I left a little anecdote out of my entry about Noah's belt test. Because...well, it wasn't exactly the sort of story I felt deserved to be preserved for posterity. At least...not at first. At first it was one of those "let's forget THAT ever happened" stories.

So Noah was waiting for his turn to break his board. It's the last task of the test, the big moment that signals your successful graduation to the next belt level, the part where everybody claps and cheers for you, and not to mention, is completely fucking awesome, because you get to break a damn board with your fist

But the little girl ahead of Noah was not getting that completely awesome moment, because she could not break her board, no matter how many times she tried. The instructor switched boards, had her practice over and over again, but the board would not split. They quickly abandoned the punching idea and had her try an easier stomp kick move. But the board would not split. 

The instructors continued to cheer her on, as did the entire audience of parents, grandparents and siblings -- you know, ANYTHING to keep the poor thing from getting upset or embarrassed during a moment that is solely intended to be a self-confidence booster, as I've always suspected that those balsa wood boards get a secondary helpful bit of snapping pressure from the instructors. 

Noah sat silently during this, growing slightly more impatient with every failed attempt the little girl made. Finally, he could take no more:

"SHE'S NEVER GOING TO BREAK HER BOARD!" he announced. Loudly. Very, very loudly.

There are a few sounds that I will never, ever forget, dear readers: The sound my car made during a violent head-on collision in high school, the sound of my newborn babies' cries for the first time...and the sound of every other person in that room making the same horrified and dismayed "OHHHNOOOOOOO!" sort of gasp.

Noah was quickly admonished by an instructor and we, the audience, were ordered to cheer for the little girl even louder. Jason and I looked at each other, completely mirroring the other's embarrassment and desire for the floor to open up and swallow us whole, because yeeeeah.

That's my kid, right there.

 The one that EVERY OTHER PERSON IN THIS ROOM is thinking, "oh God, I'm glad that wasn't my kid."

Argh. Kids. Five-year-olds. Whattaya gonna do, right? 

Well, if you're Jason, you spend a nice chunk of your afternoon assembling an extremely complicated Harry Potter Lego set while talking to your kid about why that wasn't a nice thing to say, how that probably hurt that little girl's feelings, and what "encouragement" means and why it's important, and suggesting that maybe an apology is in order, the next time that little girl comes to karate class.

But you might also probably feel like everything you said went in one ear and out the other, cuz LEGOS LEGOS LEGOS.

And if you're me, you'll completely forget to bring the topic up again and prompt your kid about that outstanding apology while driving to karate class a few days later. Until you watch the little girl in question arrive late and take her spot directly behind your kid in line, like, ooohhhhhhhhhrightthat. 

But if your kid is Noah, you will also watch him immediately turn around and face the little girl. And you will hear him, clear as day, say, "I'm sorry I said you couldn't break your board. I'm sorry you were having a hard time. But you did really, really great and I'm happy you got your yellow belt too."

And you will realize you are sitting next to the little girl's mom. And you will see the corners of her mouth turn up in a charmed sort of smile. And you will see the instructor's face similarly melt, as he turns to your child and thanks him for being such a gentleman and a good friend, and tells him he just earned himself an extra raffle/prize ticket for a random act of kindness. 

And then you will watch your kid earn a second ticket for winning that day's special "flying kick" competition, expertly performing a new double-leg jump-kick thing that requires all sorts of gross motor skills and coordination and crossing the midline (and lands 90% of his classmates on their butts), and you will think, "That's my kid. That's MY kid. That's my amazing, unbelievable kid."


Lee Laughlin (a.k.a Lisa Ryan on Tempo Rd from Cee's year)

That is THE awesomesauce. I have THAT kid too. He's not diagnosed yet, and he may never be. From what I'm reading, he's just "spirited", but oh the stuff that comes out of his mouth!!
Congrats to NOAH, congrats to you and to Jason. Job well done!

To me the biggest fear is that my children could be untrainable. They'll make mistakes, but my fear is that they won't learn from them. Thankfully they continue to prove my fears unfounded. It is good that we worry so they learn, but it is better that they learn. ;)


ALL 5 year olds say wretched things. Awesome 5 year olds with super parents apologize.

Good job - all of you!


not a sappy person, not hormonal (today anyway) but really?!! made me cry! Go Noah!


I am so in love with Noah! That just goes to show you how wonderful his parents are.


What really strikes me is that he apologized without further prompting fom you. He even said what he was apologizing for. To me, that means he gets it. Amazing!


Just when ya think that everything goes in one ear and out the other something amazing like this happens and you tell everyone and make them cry. Way to go Noah. Way,,,


Go Noah!

I am still happily stunned that no matter what kind of shit my sons might be sometimes, even as teenagers when it matters, they stand up...every single time. They do the right thing, they are good people, and I'm always unbelievably proud too.


I'm a martial arts instructor and I have a similarly heartwarming story of kids-being-awesome without adult prompting! I'll leave it here to be never read and buried in the comments of a two day old blog entry... But I want to share it because it makes me happy.

Black belt testing! Most kids spend like four years minimum working towards this. I'm a fresh new instructor, and working with the almost-black belts has been my main task for the last six months, so this is not only the culmination of their hard work, it's kind of mine, too, since it's my job to make sure they're ready and do a awesome during testing.

Halfway through the second form, there's a wail and a boy runs off the mat-- he's wet his pants from nervousness. He is so, so embarrassed, everyone can hear him hysterically crying to his mom in the bathroom. At any rate, he gets cleaned up, a spare pair of uniform pants are found, and he comes back to finish. (First props to him for sticking it out and finishing his test!)

He sits down on the wall next to another kid who has been practicing with him for all this time, still embarrassed, still hiding his face in his hands, and immediately, kid two puts his arm around his shoulders and comforts him. Kid one perks up, does the rest of the test like nothing happened, and both earn their black belts like the awesome people they are.

It made me super happy to read about Noah being one of those awesome, unbelievable kids who make it so so SO worthwhile to work with kids. I bet you he grows up to be the kind of kid who makes you feel better after you pee yourself during the biggest moment of your young life. Hooray Noah!


Ah yes, five year olds. I can still remember my 4.5 year old younger brother standing up in front of the entire school and telling the little girl sat next to him that she'd just said his line. She immediately burst into tears and had to sit on her teacher's lap for the rest of the assembly. I was only six and it's burnt into my memory permanently.

Good on Noah for apologising, and so eloquently too. I don't think my little brother would have had the awareness to do something like that at that point.


I love this post. That is all.


This made me cry. Stories like this make me so excited to have kids. What an experience.

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The Moments, Where your Child says the Great and pleasure Words for you on a front of camera and also between some crowd was the Pride Moments for your Life.


What a wonderful child!

Denice Johnson

tears. sigh.


okay...fuck....that just made me all warm and fuzzy :)


I am so glad you did karate. It was great for Drew, too. I wish we had as great a studio as you found but ours keeps the little ones in a slow, boring, and non-motivational type pre-k class until first grade and the teachers are other students who are 12....yeah.


Yep...That's the life of parents with toddlers. Horror followed up with glee. haha Loved this post. So proud of Noah.


Ohhhhh, so sweet. Noah is such a great kid. I have a 7 yr old boy and I know what you mean about "those" moments, lol. but they do usually redeem themselves too. Such a sweetie.


Quite possibly one of your best posts eva.


That is so sweet. I cried. I am also 34 weeks pregnant and just a wee bit hormonal. I am so proud for you. What an amazing moment.


Damn this made me cry. You guys are such great parents! Thanks for sharing this!


Everyone has a kid who does the wrong thing. Not everyone has a kid who does the exceptionally right thing. But you do. Epic Win.


i find that this hardened old heart has suddenly melted.


So wonderful! What a great story. Gosh I want to give that boy a big hug.


That totally made me cry. I hate when our kids do things to embarass us (especially when I only have myself to blame) but it happens to everyone. However, not everyone can say that their kid remedied their mistake the way Noah did. He should be proud of himself and I know that you guys are proud of him. But I am proud of him too (in a weird, read your blog, feel like I know you kind of a way :)). Congrats on a job well done!

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