Today was a surprising day. Testing for Tiny Tigers was at 9:30am. Mr. D. and I had exchanged emails yesterday; he wanted Sam to test for his Orange Belt. He thought that advancing would add to his confidence. So, both boys were suited up and it all began. Warmups with all the Tiny Tigers, followed by the Tiny Tigers creed, and finally testing. Lowest ranks go first. This meant that Sam's group was the first on the floor. I had no idea what he would do...would he stand there with one finger in his nose and not do a thing? Possible. But no! He did it! He didn't say a word (usually the students repeat the command after the instructor) and his Self-Defense was more funny than it was correct, but he did it! We were all so proud of him. And he was PSYCHED and sat the rest of the testing with a huge grin on his face, occasionally calling out to me, "I'm going to get my Orange Belt!" Then there was Ted. Now, in class, I'd rank Ted as #3 when it comes to doing his form. He is usually loud, firm and relatively correct (he reverses his position a lot-probably because he is a leftie). When his group was called up, he did this weird waddle-walk. WTH?! When he was told to go back to his place, he did straighten up, but certainly didn't run on with the excitement of his practices last week. His form was fine, if silent, and his self-defense the same. But at the end, when he was being awarded his belt (AND his silver patch), he got all silly again. So he didn't get it. (He did, eventually, afterwards, when Mr. D talked to him). I feel so bad for him...how awful must he have felt inside, knowing he was messing up but not being able to have the self-confidence to shake it off and get on with what he was supposed to do. He must have felt paralyzed and trapped. As usual, Mr. D handled it beautifully and I just hope he can shake it off and move on. I wonder if he somehow internalized Sam's insecurities as his own. "I didn't want the big kids watching me," he said...but those kids are his friends, and are nothing but encouraging. It came out of left field and surprised us all. This reminds me of two things. First, he is only 5. And second, something is going on inside him, and we need to help him through it. Patience, encouragement and lots of love...this kid is going to get some TLC in the next few weeks.
Lots of pics on moeltini.