I find myself on Saturday mornings handing my trust--and my son--over to a Sensei of a karate class. I love watching my boy, who is four-and-a-half, and his enthusiasm each time he attends. I respect the Sensei and think he is great with kids.
But it is very strange sitting on the sidelines for me. Not the martial artist side of me, but the parent.
Here are some samples of what goes through my mind (none of which I would have ever imagined myself worrying about, or dwelled upon when I was a child):
- letting him learn etiquette and proper behaviour on his own
- worrying the mats aren't straight and he'll bump his head (and other injuries)
- having trust in his training partners, who are all older than him (but still kids)
- and, of course, him enjoying himself each time
It's funny, because, if I had my gi on, and weren't wearing my parent hat, my perspective would likely be entirely different. I'd maybe push him harder and worry less.
And while that time will come, some day, I really am happiest just watching him. It just takes getting used to a wee bit.