As I sit here and sip my morning coffee, I can’t help but wonder what was going through the mind of the individual, correction: the sensei, (I don’t want to offend anyone), as I reflect on the things that have transpired.
My intention is not to offend anyone with this post; my intention is to save lives. Literally. I’m trying to do good work here.
Sorry, back to the sensei (sometimes I get distracted), so I’m sipping my coffee and wondering why a sensei would ever decide to open their dojo for children’s birthday parties? More on that later.
I am the proud dad of two amazing daughters: Demi and Zoey. Demi is 7 and Zoey, 4. Demi is sweet and kind; she loves to sing and act. She has a propensity for logic and compromise over tantrums and violence. Demi will most likely grow up to be an attorney that helps keep her sister Zoey out of prison. Zoey is roughly the same size as Demi, even though they are 3 years apart. Zoey is just a little more filled out than Demi, and has an unnatural Mike Tyson-esque strength to her. I am not kidding. Sometimes this causes issues socially for her. For example, she thinks soccer, or futbol, is football, rugby, or possibly even professional wrestling. We are unable make a determination of which because she’s ejected from the soccer games before a clear decision can be made as to why she’s laying kids out like its Monday Night Raw. Seriously, parents have turned their portable foldout chairs into make-shift stretchers to help remove her victims from the field. Best case scenario is that there is a nurse on the sidelines watching their son or daughter play soccer, so they can administer aide when Zoey is on the field.
Zoey is pretty amazing, though. Zoey loves to dance and enjoys a Sour Patch Kid mentality: sour, then sweet. She will cut a chunk of your hair off and then give you the sweetest and warmest hug. At times, the sacrifice is worth it. That’s how incredible her snuggles are.
You might be asking what does Zoey’s Samson-like strength have to do with a birthday bash at some sensei’s dojo? The answer…EVERYTHING!
About three weeks ago, Demi and Zoey were invited to a friend’s birthday party at a local dojo. My daughters were excited about going, and they looked forward to a party that wasn’t at Chuckie Cheese for the hundredth time.
To preface, my daughters are not trained fighters. Their physical training comes more from the world of ballet, not mma. Although, now that I think of it, our family trampoline does kind of remind me of the octagon the fighters compete in. Hmmm…everything makes a little more sense now.
I, on the other hand, did two months of Taekwondo when I was 11 years old. The story of my training does not stop there, though. I spent the last two and half years training extensively under Sensei Wu in the art of Spin-jui jitsu. For those who don’t know, Ninjago is a wonderful way to train and get in some quality parent time. You can train at home or on the go with a Netflix account. Just for clarification I am in no way affiliated with Netflix and have received zero compensation for post.
Okay, so my daughters get home from this karate birthday party as experts in the martial arts. You would think they just received their black belt from Chuck Norris. Demi steps into the kitchen and begins fighting the broomstick. Which, as far as I know, has never done anything to her or insulted her honor. I’m mesmerized as I watch this assault take place…and then, I hear it.
It sounded exactly like the attacking army in Braveheart, but when my eyes fixed onto the sound it was just Zoey charging at me; fists clenched, running full speed in my direction. I froze. Froze like a deer in headlights, or a husband watching TV who suffers from selective hearing. The roar transitioned into a shrill and piercing “kee-yaa”. This phrase was just the precursor to a swift kick from Zoey’s foot to my “family jewels”. After the blow, I dropped to my knees. My attacker and I were now eye-to-eye. The look on her face resembled the sociopathic Cobra Kai sensei, John Kreese, from The Karate Kid. Zoey then followed her kick with a closed fist, tomahawk blow to the top of my head like she was playing whack-a-mole at Dave and Busters.
The second blow sends me face down on the floor, cheek resting on the cold wooden planks. For a moment, I have no idea what is going on. I am lying there, staring into the kitchen, wondering what just happened. It only takes a second before the view of the kitchen is blocked by Zoey’s beautiful face. Now she is smiling like a My Little Pony that just found a rainbow slide.
She says, “Daddy, guess what?” I reply in pain, and in a much higher pitch than usual “What?” She says, “I want to be a ninja now, not a nurse. Love you, bye.” She then takes off to help her sister fight the broomstick.
God help Demi. The broomstick, which has no arms or legs, can’t defend itself fell during the attack. At some point, the broomstick had enough (or gravity took over) and it hit Demi in the face. Zoey recognized that Demi was losing her battle against the defenseless broom and thought she could use the aide of another ninja. It was an interesting night to say the least.
My kids left for a birthday party with a desire to be a dentist and a nurse. Now they are skilled in all of the martial arts and only have a desire to be ninjas. One party with karate cake is all it took. So, parents beware the alluring and mystifying power of themed birthday parties. Still, ninja or doctor, I support them and love them more than anything. I remember the days of The Karate Kid, Ninja Turtles, and 3 Ninjas. That’s the magic of being a kid: you can be anything you want at any time you want. We, as parents, should try that every once in a while. If only to remind ourselves how powerful and fun our imagination can be; especially, when we are playing with our kids.