I’m certain we must have periods of time that are calm and peaceful. Weeks when it doesn’t feel like I’m running 100 mph with my hair on fire.
This would not be one of those times.
Not only is it the last full week of school, but we’ve crammed two huge family events into the upcoming weekend. My attempt to pull off everything has me scheduled to the minute for the next five days.
T-man has been studying Tae Kwon Do for several years now, and he’s preparing to test for his black belt on Saturday. Working toward this belt has taken more than six months, but this final countdown to the test is insane. What’s funny is that I started freaking out about this process back at the beginning of May, but it took a couple of weeks to get T-man on board the hard-core-prep train.
We knew he’d be testing in June so when we rolled into May I showed him the calendar on my phone, pointing out in the month view exactly how many weeks he had before the test. I tried to explain how quickly May flies by and that, before he knew it, he’d be taking the belt test. I tried to emphasize how important it was to get to work on his final preparations. I tried.
But every time I’d point out that we’d come to the end of another week he’d simply say he knew and reassure me that everything was fine. I reminded T-man to stay on track, reviewed what he needed before he could test, and asked what he’d finished so far. Finally, about three weeks ago, I realized he needed something far more concrete. So my little OCD self got to work that night after T-man had gone to bed, creating a calendar that counted down to the test along with target dates for completing different tasks.
Now, his Tae Kwon Do academy emphasizes that earning the black belt is entirely the student’s responsibility. Everything from writing and typing his essay to lining up his assistants for three separate parts of this test is supposed to rest on T-man’s shoulders. On my 10-year-old’s shoulders. I figured a little timeline organization wouldn’t be out of order.
The next morning T-man found the black belt calendar waiting at his breakfast spot, and I swear his face turned just a little bit green. And then finally, finally, he turned to me and said, “Okay, mom, I’m kind of stressed.” Uh, YEAH. Because I’ve only been telling you for two and a half WEEKS now to get on this mess and you’ve been blowing it off. So it’s time to step up and step to, little man, because come hell or high water you WILL be testing next month.
Thankfully, the calendar helped him see the big picture and he started working toward his goals.
Which brings us to this week, the week before the black belt test. A week that (in and of itself) would have been stressful and crammed to the brim but now has the added bonus of being the last full week of school and the lead up to Bear’s birthday party. To say my life is crazy right now would be a gross understatement.
We’re at the academy every night this week for class, extra self-defense practice with his partner, and/or board breaking practice. Those board breaking practices are particularly fun since they don’t start until 8:00, which means the kids don’t get home until almost 9:30 or so. We pulled one of these last week while BrightSide was out of town…let’s just say the aftermath wasn’t pretty. And in a massive moment of oversight, we also scheduled BrightSide’s car for detailing during two days this week, so we’re juggling this schedule with a single vehicle. HA.
Interspersed with the martial arts agenda, I’m also gathering end-of-year teacher gifts and working (behind schedule) on a teacher surprise. It’s also kind of important that I remember to make Bear’s birthday cake. Oh, and I just found out I’m supposed to send something in for the third grade end-of-year celebration on Monday, a surprise request that nearly made my head explode.
I’m walking a fine line between I’ve-got-this and WTF-happened here. I hope I land on the first side of that equation.