It’s been a busy month so we just had John’s birthday party on Saturday. Only 25 days late, no biggie. Plus, isn’t it great to celebrate all month? We had arranged to go to the local karate studio for a party. As his friend arrived, the volume level of the house really went up. Lucky me, I got to drive six 10/11 year old boys to American Fork. But if you can stand the noise, you can learn a little something about them. “Remember in first grade when that one kid smelled so bad and the teacher had to remind everyone to change their underwear every day?”
“And that one kid said, ‘I’m haven’t changed my underwear all week!'”
“I’m wearing clean underwear.”
“Who was that kid?”
“I don’t remember.”
Whew! Good. I don’t really want to know which kid prompted that lecture from the teacher, but having been in many classrooms of stinky kids, I can understand why she brought it up. It’s sad when kids come to school with dirty clothes or not combed hair and you wish you could make things better for them at home.
Then they talked about kids at school who were ignoring the rules and getting tickets; who is getting the most tickets, etc. They are a good group of kids.
It was POURING rain, but the kids didn’t mind getting a little wet as we climbed out of the suburban to go into the Karate studio. The door was locked, but there was a guy in the back. He came and opened the door. “Hi, guys,” he said, “What’s up?”
“We’re here for a birthday party,” said, smiling.
“Oh, our birthday guy is not here right now, but come on in and I’ll call him.” he said.
“Great,” I said, not smiling quite as much.
He called Jason, the guy who was supposed to do our party, but he didn’t answer. We were indeed on the schedule, though, so I hadn’t screwed up. The kids were excited, and didn’t seem to mind that there was a possibility that I would be scrambling with no party plans.
The guy (who was just leaving) said he was so sorry that Jason wasn’t there, and if we would give him a minute to change, he could do about an hour party/class with us. That sounded great to me. The boys all took off their huge shoes and socks and proceeded to roughhouse on the wood floor.
When the teacher (whose name was Dallas) came out, they scrambled to sitting, as if they had been sitting there waiting the whole time. Right.
He explained about respect being the number one rule in martial arts, and taught them a few punches, and did a few drills with them.
Then he brought out the bags and let them do some kicking. The boys were in heaven.
John even got to break a board with a kick. It took him a couple of tries, and the instructor talked to them about how that is just like life. If we can’t do something the first time we try, we don’t need to feel like a failure, we just try it again, and again, until we can do it.
Instead of a cake, I had a “donut cake” which was just two dozen donuts with Happy Birthday John written on them in icing. Easier than a cake and they could eat it with their hands. The boys loved that idea. John even got to use a samurai sword to cut a donut in half.
I am SO grateful that Dallis was willing to stay and do a party for us. Even if it was a shorter party, it was great for these boys. And great for me! What would I have done with them? I promised them a karate party! He apologized over and over that his employee wasn’t there and that it wasn’t the real party, but I think it was really fun anyway. And he gave each of the boys a vip pas so they can come to the studio for a month of Karate lessons for free. They thought that was GREAT! I’m so thankful he was willing to stay and do that for us, not just say there was a mix-up and leave us to do our own party (we would have ended up home watching Karate kid for sure). When we got back home, the boys all ran off to play nerf gun wars and didn’t even mind that the karate portion of the party was less than it should have been. They were just happy to be together at ANY kind of party.
Now this Friday I get to play host to Natalie’s 16 birthday, a murder mystery party. Hooray!