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The not so Super Bowl is consummated, today is Chinese New Year (gong hai fat choy to all whom this day has importance) and it is challenging for me to keep my attention focused on this tardy typing while the winter white whips by the windows. My daughter, Jian, is of Chinese genetics and we adopted her into our family twenty winters ago. In fact, I left for China on my birthday and got home on Christmas day! The tune, “Jian Mei, Jian Mei, Jian knows “The Way”, oh what fun it is to love Jian Mei today, hey!” came to me as we were leaving her birthplace and heading to our home. Jian’s twenty-first birthday is next week. I embarrass her each birthday celebration with my not so sing-song saying of those syllables.
So the youngest of my three children is officially an adult as of next week and one of my fondest memories for all three of them was in witnessing a poignant juxtaposition of their direct experience of childhood with their new awareness of adultness. My memory for the three was similar. After accumulating tremendously positive memories while participating in Karate classes here at “The Zone” through their childhood, each traveled their own path through early adolescence. I was curious as to how their early education here would play out in the bigger pool of life as they explored more freedom. Jian grew through dance, Jocelyn through soccer and Cory played at whatever came his way. Each had an open invitation to come back and assist me with the Karate Kids classes. If they got good at it, monetary comp was promised, as their need to come up with “fun money” was growing as quickly as they were.
Each ventured back through their own volition and had a similar inspirational moment as the inner child and the outer adult-like body aligned. Jocelyn re-experienced the joy of the young girls intuitively coming to her hen hips. Cory was curiously confronted with complimentary questions about who the new guy is and whether he is their teacher. Jian felt the joy of safety and the energizing vibe from a new perch. It was like déjà-vu and with halo-dos too.
The above memories poured back into my consciousness through three like-kind encounters of the third kind this past week. A middle-school aged former student stopped by with his dad and decided to come back to classes. He was one of Cory’s favorite students and even had my son do his Mohawk-do, maybe even a no so super bowl creative coif too. Secondly, a young man arrived at the door as I opened up for wrestling. I recognized, repeated and greeted him by name. He stood still and silent for a moment, feeling the déjà-vu and halo-do. He was in my Karate and Wrestling classes as a young boy and excelled at wrestling and football while moving into manhood. It was the first time that I could recall this full energy guy going to the no go zone, even if for but a moment. I gave him the key to the place and he coached those bounding boys as I coached him, with maximum involvement and total participation, while being watchful of weakness that may be awakened and then worked with. Thirdly, I attended a MHS wrestling match and had the pleasure of seeing four of “my guys” wrestle well and follow with hugging me as well. I felt like a proud papa knowing that I may have had a bit part in raising young men who can tug, shove and even heart(y) guy hug.
I call my gym zazenzone. It is a funky Asian-like way of saying the end zone - a place we can aspire too. It can be a bit like being in the Super Bowl and walking in is akin to feeling Fenway Park for the first time.