On Friday the 29th we attended (in costume, of course) Anslee’s Fall Festival at her Elementary school.

I remember my Fall Festivals. They were the most glorious magical events in my small, and thus far, short life. In my day there was the most horrific Haunted House through the 5th grade hall. I remember my brother Taylor being carried out by my father because it was too frightening. I remember the “covered play area” being packed wall to wall with carnival type games. My favorite was manned by Traci Navarro’s Mother. It was a plastic baby pool filled with sand, and in the sand were prizes, namely coins.  My father would give us each $5 worth of tickets and turn us loose on the (perceived) ginourmous Kincaid campus, but when those tickets were done, so were we.  I spent a handfull of tickets scooping great big heaping shovel fulls of sand into the sifter of that station getting rich off sandy quarters.  I did the cake walk, I tossed shaving creme pies at my teacher, Mr. Morrissey, and then volunteered to have a pie tossed at me. I still don’t know why they used shaving creme instead of whipped creme, I mean, really??? Gross! The day was not long enough to do all the amazing wonderful activities. There was never, in all my years attending our Fall Festival, one “station” that captured me so completely that I didn’t want to participate in anything else for the rest of the day.

That being said, can you imagine my surprise when we entered The King Spring’s covered play area and Anslee saw a group of children on a large blue mat in crisp white uniforms with different colored belts and she made bee line to that corner and stayed, enraptured, for the remainder of the night.

This as a demonstration put on by The Rasha Martial Arts Academy.Three of the school’s instructors were there as well as all of their students who also attended King Springs Elementary. They showed basic punches and kicks, the kids kicked boards in half and went through a series of stances.  Anslee stood, riveted through it all. There was audience participation a little later and Anslee was there, next to five or six boys in her little “Batterina” costume blocking, jumping and kicking.  Ping Rasha, the owner’s wife and instructor at the Academy spoke to me at length about their program, and for a mother who’s greatest aspiration for her daughter was “To Kick Butt like Buffy”, it was music to my little ears.

In addition to just being awesome, and helping Anslee towards her goal of growing up to be a super hero, the program should have more immediate and measurable benefits. My hope is that it will teach Anslee discipline, focus, commitment, self control, etc.

Mike and I gave Anslee the good news, that we had decided to start her in “Karate School”, as she called it, immediately, that I would call them and try to get her started on Monday.  It was the only way we could get her to leave the exhibition! We talked to her about learning all the basics before she got to start fighting, and that everything she learned in “Karate School” would help her in her real school too. That it wasn’t all punching and kicking, and that if she wanted to do any of it she had to do all of it.

She has talked non stop about “Going to Karate School” since Friday night.  All day Saturday she told anyone who would listen, even trick-or-treating was only a minor distraction from her excitement about starting classes.

As I kissed her goodnight last night, and told her that she didn’t have to go to school today since we had kept her out too late trick-or-treating.  She bolted right up in bed and with a very panicked expression told me that she still wanted to go to school, that she wanted to learn her Karate Skills!!!!! She said “You said Karate School would be BETTER THAN REGULAR SCHOOL!!!”

I realized then that I had a very touchy situation that needed to be addressed immediately. Anslee thought that Rasha Martial Arts Academy was a REPLACEMENT school, not a supplemental class. I clarified that I had said “Karate school would help her BE BETTER in regular school, not that it was better than regular school.”  She thought she was going off to some Private Ninja Boarding School or something and that she didn’t have to go to plain old Elementary School on the days that she had Karate Class.

I had to break her little heart and tell her she had to go to both schools….

She was so disappointed.

Can you imagine thinking you were going to get to go to some super hero training camp two or three times a week and then having that snatched away from you and the reality of thirty minute classes a couple of time a week be your solace? Lame.

The good news is that for the monthly fee of $99 she gets unlimited classes.  Mrs. Rasha said that at Anslee’s age starting off at the basic level that two classes a week was a good place to start because the kids can get burned out or bored with all the blocking and “form” practice.  It will be great when she moves up to the 7-12 year old class and can go as many times a week as she wants.

I am really hoping that this makes a difference in Anslee’s life. They teach Tai Kwon Do and encourage cardiovascular exercise, patience, discipline, commitment. Master Rasha seems great and sounded SO stoked to hear about Anslee’s excitement.  This could be her “thing”! I think every kid needs a “Thing” and the fact that this “Thing” is the “Thing” I wanted her to be into, before she was even born, well – that’s just gravy.