National Karate Tournament
This weekend I got to see both of my kids doing things they love.
One in competitive dance, and then both girls in a karate tournament.
For dance, we are told to have their hair in a certain style, no stray hairs. Perfect make up, check. False eyelashes, check. Rhinestone-ladened costume. Check. Dance moves-- rehearsed a zillion times to perfection. Check. Every accessory in place, pinned and perfect.
This even for the youngest of dancers.
They head on stage, and give their all -- but they don't get there without a lot of hard work, hours and hours of practice, and they don't get there without being darned near-- perfect.
Perfect is points in dance competition.
There is recreational dance for those who aren't into perfect. They have recitals, and make up, sparkling costumes and very proud parents. Perfect isn't expected, but it certainly is rewarded.
Contrast to Sunday morning, where we kind of rolled out of bed, ate some breakfast, and headed off to the karate tournament.
I did tell the girls to brush their hair, but our cosmetic prep ended there.
When we arrived, the kids practiced, and got ready for their division.
This particular one happened to be the family division. Siblings on a team, parents and kids on a team. That in and of itself is neat.
A mother/daughter team got up and into the ring to present their form. That's a choreographed series of moves you have to master at each belt level.
The mother is a teacher. Her daughter is a beautiful girl with a terrific spirit, and some disabilities that would present some barriers if this little girl wanted to dance.
But she is in karate.. which welcomes all.
She still has to learn the same forms, and she still has to suit up and learn to spar. No one will cut her any slack there. She is earning her promotions just like any other kid. And like any other kid, she can go at hear own pace... which is the key.
On this occasion, in front of three judges, the girl and her mother went through their form as a team. Mom patiently coaching her daughter through -- who was game to show her stuff with 50 or so people watching. The judges gave their full attention and allowed the mother/daughter team to finish at their own pace.
When they were done, the judges congratulated the duo. They got a huge round of applause, and a trophy.
The best trophy of all was this little girl's smile as her mother picked her up, and gave her a hug. It was a smile as bright as the sun and full of joy. She was a winner in everyone's eyes.
It made me happy that my kids are a part of a sport that welcomes all, and respects everyone at their level.
Now that's what I call perfect.
(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)