I See Purple

In Andy’s future. He took the test for his purple belt this morning. It was a difficult five-hour test. It really hit me while watching him today that he isn’t a baby anymore. He tested with several other kids. One of the boys he tested with has grown up at tae kwon do right next to Andy. I remember sitting with the two of them when they were both still in diapers. They would play with whatever toys I had in my purse, snack on crackers and babble at each other. And, now look at them! ::sniff::

A five hour test is long for anyone but for 8-9-10 year-old boys, it’s a special form of torture. The young teens in the group only highlighted the squirreliness of the younger kids. It amazes me how well most of them were able to focus when it was needed. Still, this age group of boys is funny, funny, funny. I get such a kick out of all their little quirks. Some of the kids zone out and you can catch them making faces in the mirrors or studying something invisible on the floor.

From the time the kids start taking classes, they’re taught to turn away from the judges and “fix” their uniforms. Generally, they straighten out their uniform shirts and tighten up their belt. Andy took it to new heights this morning. Everytime he was to approach the judges, he would turn around and attempt to fix his uniform. No matter what he did, he somehow managed to look more disheveled than if he had slept in his uniform. It got funnier and funnier as the day went on. However, he’s made HUGE steps since his days as a Lil’ Dragon where it was not unheard of for Andy’s pants to fall right down around his ankles every time he put his arms over his head. On a good day back then, I would have remembered to make sure he was wearing underpants. At least that’s not an issue these days.

This is my favorite picture of the day. Technically speaking, it’s not a great flying sidekick – but look at the air he got on that jump. The boy holding the board that Andy is kicking is 6’+ tall. Not bad, huh?

It was fun because Mike was able to be there for the test. He was unable to go to a lot of the older boys’ tests because he was usually working. It was fun for me to have someone to talk to while we watched all of the kids. We were both struck by how grown up Andy has become. He’ll always be my baby, but he’s really not a baby anymore.

And, you can’t see him, but Tim had his first turn sitting on the panel of black belt judges today. By the end of the test it was pretty clear that Tim is not a “sitter.” I think it was good experience for him, but I think he’d be happier on the floor helping to lead the test next time.

So, all-in-all a great day! It’ll be a while before Andy learns if he earned his belt. Cross your fingers it won’t be too long.

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