Last weekend was Cowgirl's belt graduation for her martial arts class. She has been attending classes for over 3 1/2 years now and is now in the advanced class which seems crazy as she is half the size of the older kids in attendance. We have weathered some serious storms in martial arts including the session when she did not test for her next belt; tests where she had to go home and practice more; and now new curriculum which seems to have some sort of progress check every week along with check sheets and forms to be completed in order to receive attitude stripes.
New to the program are medals given out for attendance, participation in book club and self discipline and attitude. I have to admit, the paperwork alone is a nightmare and it is only the most dedicated and probably uber over-achiever parent who follows through thoroughly on all of it. Which is to say, me although in my defense I may regularly remind Cowgirl of her forms, but she fills them out and I believe my standards are pretty high when it comes to deciding what constitutes form-worthy acts of self discipline and winning black belt attitude.
The faux-Olympian style medals seemed a little anti-climatic after all my book-keeping and Cowgirl seemed fairly blaisé about the whole affair. But later that day I had friends over to our house and when Cowgirl appeared she was wearing all of her medals.
She wore them to dinner with my mother and again the next day when she accompanied me to my yoga class. As the sound of all of them together is a bit loud - I keep thinking the dog is up on the counter but no, it's Cowgirl sitting there - she has been instructed to only wear one medal to school. So every day this week she has wore a different medal to show her class.
In other words, she is extremely proud of herself and her achievement and she isn't shy about letting others know.
Which has got me thinking about how I don't feel comfortable sharing my medals or in my case, my achievements. I can think of all the medals I won't be stringing over my neck: patient mothering award, efficient housekeeping, healthy and taste buds satisfying meal prep or most attentive daughter. And don't ask the Husband for an evaluation of my wifely duties.
If I had to claim any real success, I suppose I might say "snazzy dresser" because I do put effort into looking pulled together even if I don't always feel that way. (My one legitimate reason for staying in my day job is the fear that if I didn't go to work, I might never get showered or dressed ever again.) Despite the lack in my general housekeeping I am a Paper-Clutter slayer, keeping the tsunami of random bits of mail, school memos and arty doodlings from drowning us. I keep on top of the recycling. I manage Cowgirl's social and school calender. I monitor the dog's input and output. I floss and gargle and am attempting to change the bed sheets weekly.
|pages for Paint Your Story by Mindy Lacefield|
No, none of these is really medal-worthy material in my opinion. If I were to receive a medal I suppose the one I would be proud to wear would read "Never Gives Up" which may make me sound like a cancer survivor or a special olympics athlete but there it is. I fumble my way through the difficult moments with Cowgirl when she really really tests my patience, love and endurance (if there anything snarkier than a 7 year old girl with napoleonic attitude, I haven't met it yet ... unless it is said 7 year old at 8 or 9 or - god help me - as a teenager!); I begin over and over my yoga and meditation practices; I paw through and occasionally add to any number of written, photographic and art journals; I gather new sewing, knitting and gardening projects. No matter how badly these things may go, I begin anew by dusting off my attitude and wiping my psychic slate clean of past disasters and flops.
And being totally honest, I would include a medal for whatever part I may have in shaping the attitude (sassy but independent) and ideas of the girl who can create this:
Most committed to practicing self love. Maybe that is the medal I aspire towards ... one I would proudly wear.
|the most powerful word is ♡ Love ♡|