Monday, September 11, 2006
Cassie began taking karate lessons five years ago when she was nine, almost ten. She's one month shy of fifteen now. Karate was a passion from the very beginning, one that never wavered. She has worked hard, had a blast, and enjoyed nearly every minute of her lessons. She's made wonderful friends.
On Saturday, September 9, 2006, Cassie tied her brown belt on for the last time here at home, nervous as could be for her black belt test. I drove her to the dojo, kissed her good-bye while wishing her luck, and sat in the car.......waiting.......with Tom......no one is allowed to watch the test...........only testers and the tested and judges...............nerves!
Cassie's black belt partner and coach, Nick, came out before Cassie did and told us that she did, "Wonderful!" (Thanks, Nick! You're the BEST!!) The results weren't tallied, yet, and we'd have to wait another hour or so. Nail biting.
Tom and I went to have breakfast out while we waited. Cassie stayed with her group and listened to a pep talk and whatnot.
Finally, it was her turn to go in for results. A few minutes later, smiling the biggest grin ever, running rapidly down the cement steps, Cassie raced for our car where we were waiting. "I PASSED!!!!" she squealed as Tom grabbed her up in an embrace and twirled her around off her feet. Then, she hugged me so hard I nearly suffocated, but that's okay! I'm thrilled! A few of her friends tested and passed as well, so there was much jubilation in the parking lot and all around.
Afterwards we came home and had a hot dog roast over our backyard campfire, something Cassie loves to do. Then, she and a bunch of her karate friends went to see Lady in the Water. After THAT, at nearly eight o'clock, Joe took Cassie out to the Sushi Station for a promised dinner. "You get your black belt, I'll take you for sushi!" She'd never eaten it before, and ate 5 or 6 rolls, but says it must be an acquired taste. Yup.
Tom and I looked at each other at day's end and said in amazement, "Huh. We are parents of a black belt." (Tom is a brown belt. This has inspired him to "go for it" this next school year. He'll have to earn two more brown belt levels, then, test for black belt. It'll take more than a school year, but he can do it. Cassie says she'll coach him at home and during class.)
As the dust of an exciting day settled, Cassie said she doesn't feel any different except that now she senses that she's in some kind of elite place - with black belts. It IS a special place, Cassie, and you deserve to be there! You did it!
There is a one year wait before confirmation which requires a confirmation test and several service type experiences, such as judging and assisting.
And now, as her sensei says, "The learning begins."