I’ve written numerous times about TaeKwonDo, and how big a part of Boy Wonder’s, and our lives, it has become. When he first started TaeKwonDo, we were in a very bad financial place. We were fearful of making a year-long commitment to an expensive sport. But the look on his face that first day he took a class – the utter joy we saw, his words – “This is the best thing that ever happened to me” – told us that we had to find a way. As I wrote last year, giving him his first uniform 2 years ago at Christmas was the greatest gift I’ve ever given.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a dilemma we were facing on whether to let Boy Wonder quit TaeKwonDo.
I’m crying right now just thinking about how much this sport has meant to him, and how hard it has been these past 3 months to watch him start over, to watch him try to veil his discouragement by perservering and going day after day. He was so close to being a black belt.
We got to the point last week that we knew it was time to release Boy Wonder from what had become nothing more than an obligation – an empty obligation.
But before we did, my husband did just a little more checking around. Were there ANY studios within a 45 minute drive that taught the type of TaeKwonDo that he trained on for his first two years? Because we are willing to do whatever it takes to help our son realize what was his dream of being a black belt – short of putting him through utter misery.
It turns out, there is a studio 35 minutes away from our house.
We called them. We explained that Boy Wonder had trained for two years, but had been forced for the last 3 months to learn a competing style of TaeKwonDo that he absolutely hated.
The owner mentioned that they had recently re-opened a second studio that was only 15 minutes from our house. Did we want to bring him in for a trial class?
When Boy Wonder got home from school, we sat him down for a talk.
We told him that we knew how discouraged he was.
He hung his head down, still not really wanting to admit to us that his heart had given up.
We told him that we had found another studio – one that was like his first studio. Would he be interested?
That same look came across his face. The look I saw in December of 2009 – the look of joy after his very first TKD class. The look that said, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
“Yes! Oh, please, Mommy and Daddy, I want to go there. I will do whatever it takes. I will take classes on Saturday. Please.”
and then he paused.
“But what about the studio I’ve been going to the last few months? We made a commitment to them, and I don’t want to let them down.”
I’ve always known that this kid is anything but a quitter. But to hear him verbalize the importance of commitment made me full of pride. He knows. He understands. The lesson of not giving up has not been lost on him. He’s taken every bit of it to heart.
And that’s why it’s even more okay now to let him, and us, out of our commitment to the studio that just wasn’t a fit.
We told him we would take care of everything.
We took him to the trial class. He loved it. The next morning, he woke up and practiced his new form 5 times before school.
His excitement, his fire, his passion is back. I see the spark in his eye, I see that he knows his dream is achievable once again.
We broke our contract with the other studio at not a small expense. But we know that we cannot put a price on our son’s happiness. We cannot put a price on what he will feel like in 6 months, when he wears the black belt that he has worked so hard for.
He’s not a quitter, and never will be.