Caleb turned 7 last week. Somehow he talks me into celebrating his birthday over and over. He picked karate for his party theme sometime before Christmas. It may have even been before Halloween. He thinks about his birthday all year! He has also been asking to go bowling for his birthday for nearly a year. I was hoping I could get away with one party or the other, but not with Caleb!
The Karate party with his friends was held on Friday after school. It actually ended up being quite simple. We had 7 boys and they were perfectly happy playing. They all got karate belts when they came and then we had Skyler, a friend of our friend's come and teach the boys a karate lesson. Skyler was great, but the boys were off the wall hyper. The idea of having a karate lesson was enough for them. With presents, pizza, pop, cake and ice cream the party was a success.
In true Caleb fashion as soon as the party was over he was asking when we could go bowling with the Low Boys, Isaac and Dawson. I consented to go cosmic bowling on Saturday afternoon. My parents and Connie met us and Caleb got a great present of Night Vision Goggles and Walkie Talkies from my mom and dad. What more could a 7 year old ever want?!
Sunday we celebrated his birthday with the Kirks, and then Monday was the official big day. He received attention from his teacher and class and I took Rice Crispy Treats in to the school. One week before his birthday I officially decided what to get him. I have asked him several times if he is interested in playing Soccer or Base Ball in the spring. He always replies, "I just want to play Tackle Football and take Karate." Once again the Monday before his birthday I asked one final time and he very firmly gave me his typical reply. These contact sports are not my sports of choice! I talked around and found a gym only about 7 minutes from our house that offers a full Youth Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training course. It includes Boxing, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Karate for MMA, Thai Boxing, and Jiu Jitsu. Caleb can go to as many as two one hour classes a day for just $30 a month. (Of course the gear was expensive to get him started.) On the morning of his birthday I had put into gift bags the names of each of the classes he can take as well as the gear he would be getting. He was so cute with all of the gift bags and let Cara and Andy open as many as he did. He was beyond excited to get started.
I am hoping this is just a phase, but I rationalize by telling myself that he just as well practice Martial Arts in an organized fashion rather than in the basement. The coaches seem to be good, and the gym is new and very nice. In fact the owner is Rulon Gardner an Olympic Gold Metal Wrester. He will be helping with the coaching when he returns from being on the reality TV show Biggest Looser. It is good for Caleb to burn off some of his energy and there is research showing that joint movement helps with impulse control. I hope that he will also learn some discipline. In the mean time he loves his boxing gloves. He has slept with them every night since he got them and he likes to give them to Cara and have her punch him. It gets a little out of control. On our way to his first class he was all smiles as he said, "I'm probably going to get beet-up tonight."
He loved all of the attention. Here he is receiving words of praise from his class mates who had a lot of very nice things to say about how friendly and nice he is.