Last Wednesday, Chas and I drove up to Raleigh to _watch_, only watch, a tae kwon do class for little people, taught by my sister-in-law, LeAnn. He was not ready to participate yet, but he was very excited. He had lots of questions, like what if he has to bow, and he doesn't want to. Fortunately, he is comfortable enough with LeAnn that he was able to talk to her a little bit after class.
This week we went back and he said he was ready to join in with the other kids. I was pleasantly surprised, even though I had no expectations as to how long it would take him to warm up to the idea. He dressed in his favorite comfy pajama pants, took his shoes off when we arrived, like he had been told last week. We sat together while we waited for the class to begin. Chas took out the digial camera and began taking pictures to send to his dad. He and I both really enjoy each other when it's just the two of us. He couldn't stop talking about all the things he saw in the club, from the giant hanging boxing bags, to the insulation in the ceiling to the giant fans used to cool the room, and the door behind the waiting area that had no doorknob. He wanted so badly to race across the floor with the others, and punch and kick the cushions as he saw the others do last week.
When class was about to begin, only Chas and one other five year old little boy, who was about the same size, had shown up. LeAnn called the boys over to begin. Chas went running over! I was so proud of him for having overcome his fear and shyness, I reached under my seat to get my camera out. Then I looked back up, and he was running to me arms outstretched, and face contorted. When he reached me and my arms wrapped around him, he burst into tears and sobbed into my shoulder. He balled himself up into a fetal position on my lap. I tried to get him to calm down and tell me what happened. He said he didn't know the other boy, he was 'shy of the other boy'. I insisted that we stay and watch some more of the class, if not all. I wanted to talk to LeAnn, maybe she could help him. Chas wanted to go home though. On the way home he asked if he could have treat for trying. All my frustration and disappointment melted away. Of course, we can have a treat.