My daughter graduated from high school on Saturday. Yes, I am old enough to have a child who has graduated. As a matter of fact, I also have a twenty-two year-old step-daughter who has a three year-old son, which makes me a grandmother. So I have every right to say I’m old, nyah nyah!
One of the reasons my family got into martial arts is because when Skyler was in grade school, she started getting into trouble fighting…with boys. We figured if she was going to do it, she may as well learn to do it right! She also had an interest in martial arts through her complete and total obsession with anime and manga (Japanese cartoons, for the uninitiated). So, when she was twelve, the Ethridge’s started their martial journey in karate.
Then when she was sixteen, she and I began training jiu-jitsu. I believe one of the main reasons we have such a close relationship, and I haven’t had to deal with any of the usual teenage drama with her, is because of our training together. I also believe martial arts has helped her a great deal in becoming the strong, unique, and talented person she is today. It has given her the confidence to be herself, and seek her own path.
She is a very smart girl, and a gifted artist. Soon she will be leaving home to start college, and we won’t be able to train together as regularly. Even though mommy’s heart breaks at the thought, I know the foundation that we have given her is a strong one, and that she has the tools necessary to succeed on her own. I am so proud of who she has become, and so glad that we made the decision six years ago to start training martial arts together as a family. I didn’t know at the time how much it was going to affect our lives, and now I realize it’s one of the greatest gifts we have ever given her.
(photo-one of Skyler’s award-winning digital art pieces)