Usually I use this space just to write about Boo and his autism, but I have decided to stretch things out a little bit today. Boo was the first one diagnosed, at the age of two. I was the second one in the family to be diagnosed, at the age of 46. Shortly after that Mouse was diagnosed at the age of 14. Bug is the only one without a formal diagnosis, but every therapist he has ever taken Boo to see has said he is on the spectrum, too. So, we are one happy, spectrumy, stimmy family. But, autism is not all we are. We are writers, runners, coders, musicians, students, the list goes on and on. And as of last night, Mouse and I became black belts in Kung Fu. Bug, who started Kung Fu shortly after us is one test behind and should earn his first degree black belt later this spring.
So, where did this particular story start? In an elementary school gym through community ed. Mouse began Kung Fu almost 7 years ago because her best friend was involved. I was just a parent sitting on the sidelines. Unlike most of the parents, I was not glued to my phone, I was riveted to the action on the floor. Kung Fu looked amazing and I wanted to try it! Eight weeks later I did. Soon after that Bug signed up too and it became a weekly family ritual. In the last 6.5 years I have survived two surgeries and one pandemic. Last night, Mouse and I passed our final brown belt test and became first degree black belts. One of my instructors, whom I have worked with for years reminded me that this is not the end of the story but a beginning of a whole new chapter. At the moment I am feeling all the feels. As a kid I was always the last chosen for any team sport and I dreaded PE. At the age of 13 I discovered running and at the age of 14 discovered running marathons. I did not discover Kung Fu until I was 44. I will not say it was a natural fit, like it is for Mouse, but I will say it started a love affair. Though I am not the worlds most flexible or coordinated person, I can make up for it in sheer dogged determination. This is where my autism serves me well. I can laser focus in a goal and not look away until I get there.
It is five in the morning and I am not sure where I am going with this blog. I have dogs at my feet, a hedgehog in my lap, coffee in my hand. I am very happy. I am so grateful for the Lam family who introduced us to Kung Fu and were always encouraging. I am grateful to Mouse’s friend who introduced to the martial arts in the first place. I am just plain grateful for my family. Thank you for listening to me ramble. Be good humans. Peace, y’all.