Spoke too soon, it's 2.15am and I just got back from the animal hospital where JD is now critical... they called me because they thought she might not pull through; if I don't write about it for awhile you'll know what happened.. meantime, the post below was written earlier
About 12 hours prior, Sunday night, she was in a different uniform:
(Siblings not sitting for exam came with... and yes she also brought the hamster, though I think the human sibling was a little prouder of her achievement)
Though honestly one morning prior at ESF Multi-sports Camp, she happily announced she was a yellow-green, causing much drama and angsty hand-wringing from Rockstar and me - you cannot claim a belt you haven't earned, it's just horrible faux pas and disrespectful. That's why each belt change is so valuable (and effective when you want a jumpy kid to settle and do her Taegeuk.)
She was so wired she finally settled at around 11pm....
The Queen, having long since eschewed Elsa of Frozen, would like to be known henceforth as The Hamster Ninja.
(Found her at home one day tracing that hand on her bag "So (she could) say 'Hi' to friends from behind." Uh ok...)
The next day, since The Hamster Ninja was still on staggered school start (which means alternate days, half days and a shorter week for the first two weeks of primary school before going full-day every day), we waited for Rockstar to get off the school bus before JD went for a routine follow-up check. An attending vet had "heard something, possibly a heart murmur" while checking her vitals during treatment for diarrhoea, which she has gotten fairly often throughout her years (in fact when she was first adopted she used to get it way more), and asked us to come back in for a thorough look when her tummy settled down:
Then a confluence of unexpected events would land her one night in critical condition at the 24 hour Animal Emergency Clinic....---
*Deferring to all ranking seniors I consider defence the most important practical component of martial arts. Any untrained person can swing a fist. The ability to deflect an attack adequately is far more valuable. (Then of course come restraint, discipline, respect.)
Not too long ago The Hamster Ninja was elbowed to the floor at Funzone by an unknown boy bigger in size than Rockstar (who was at camp in HKU at the time), after refusing to be bodily shoved aside in the chest while she was skipping past him with another little girl her own age on playdate. Her friend just cried through the whole thing. So The Hamster Ninja may still be just 5, but wow is she going to work on that blocking.
As grossly unfair as it is, being hit by a bully is part of life - if you thought about it, I bet you could name a few people who've metaphorically provided the elbow-to-the-head of your little-girl-skipping-along-minding-your-own-business self. Point being, you will never be able to deflect every single elbow to your child's head. But you can scramble and strive to encourage your child to deflect it - literally sure, but especially emotionally. Self defence is one of those things you hope you never need, and yet we all do - because feeling like we have the ability to block an elbow to the head is incredibly empowering. And it means you don't have to take it out on anyone else -
You might think I should encourage her to just walk away from every bully (and certainly I tell both kids to pick their battles) but I think walking away too much is one way even more bullies are born. Some of them were probably really shy kids themselves, who didn't dare stand up to their aggressor, had too many other kids walk all over them, and then eventually went to go take their resentment out on other kids...