Being Schooled By a 10 Year Old | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


I’ve been a mom for over 24 years now, so my two sons have taught me many lessons, but over the past three weeks I have been being schooled by a 10 year old. How can a 10 year old teach a 49 year old mom something, you might ask? It’s not too difficult when your 10 year old is just weeks away from becoming a junior black belt in American Karate and he sprains his ankle at the park, while playing tag with friends, which puts all his plans on the back burner till spring! He has had plenty of opportunities over the past three weeks to teach me more than I would like to admit.

Here are just a few of the things my 10 year old has schooled me on recently:

  • Just because you can’t follow “your” plan doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. We have talked for the past year about him becoming a black belt before he turned 11 (which is December 19th). It’s a huge accomplishment to receive your black belt in American Karate, but in our school you can’t receive your black belt till you have been in American Karate for 4 years and you can’t start in American Karate till you turn 7. He was right on the cusp of the age limit, because of when he started he was going to be one of the youngest kids in our studio to reach this accomplishment. He is still going to receive his black belt in American Karate, but it’s going to be a few months after he turns 11, instead of our original plan.

For years, I have started and stopped more things because I’ve felt that if things didn’t go the way I had originally planned, I can’t do them. Start something, get derailed and stop altogether. Start again, get derailed, stop altogether! That has been my pattern for longer than I would like to admit. However, my 10 year old has taught me to keep plugging along. I took his advice and I’ve decided to start following my dreams, regardless of how many times I might get derailed.

  • Don’t hide and sulk at home, trying to make yourself feel better. Get out there and do as much as you can, and continue living your life. Just take it a little slower and don’t push to the point of pain. Take the precautions you need to, to be safe.

When I am depressed about something, the only thing I want to do is sit at home and wallow in my depression. I don’t want to talk to people, and I don’t want to see people. Basically, I want to hide out and eat junk food. My son has taught me to keep doing what I can, when I can. Just because you might not be able to do everything you normally could, doesn’t mean you can’t continue living life. My son has taught me to do “what you can, when you can”. #wycwyc has become a very real part of our lives over the past few weeks. Maybe I can’t do 10 “on my toes” push-ups, but I can do 10 push-ups from an incline from my chair.  Do those 10 push-ups and stop complaining about what you can’t do.

  • If something is good for you while in training for an event, it’s good for you all the time. During his first black belt training class, his instructors told him to “cut the junk food and sodas from their diets” and they would see a huge improvement in their training over the course of the 8 weeks. He doesn’t normally eat a lot of junk but he does love to drink soda, so he decided that while he was training for his black belt he would cut out most of his soda drinking habit. Now that he’s on the injured list, he still hasn’t had much soda. He told me, “It’s not good for me during training, so it’s not good for me when I’m not in training”. Smart kid, I’ve got here.

Last year while training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day I went on a gluten free eating plan, to cut the inflammation in my joints. I knew that I should do it for this year’s training and for the actual walk but kept telling myself that it wouldn’t make that much difference. Knowing I was only hurting myself, I went back to ridding the gluten from my diet on October 13, and I’m beginning to feel better. I know that it will take a few more weeks before I see the results I’m looking for but it took some serious reflection and looking at what my son was doing to finally pull the plug. I even had some flu-like symptoms on the 4th day of having no gluten in my diet (think a nauseated, sick to your stomach feeling with a severe headache), which tells me that I was having some serious detoxing happening in my body. Next thing to do to help me improve my health before my Susan G. Komen 3-Day next month, is to do a liver detox. I am expecting similar symptoms as I do this, based on some info I have been given from my doctor, but I am doing something that is going to help me in the long term, not hurt me. 

  • Get back out there and work hard again, as soon as you can. Friday night, my son went to one of his karate classes. He was anxious and wasn’t sure how things in class would go, but he did it and he did well. It was really good for him to be with his friends and doing something he loves again. He was excited to be back in the studio, even though it was hard to see how far his peers had progressed over the 3 weeks he has been away.

The last time I was at the gym to lift weights, I was intimidated by someone there who lifted a lot more weight than I did. This man made me feel as though I would never really reach my goal, although he didn’t say or do anything in particular to make me feel this way. I felt old and inadequate as I had to pull out my reading glasses to read the instructions on how to do each different exercise. I didn’t like feeling that way so I stopped going to lift weights. Now, I know I need to stop being afraid and get back to lifting weights again. If my 10 year old can do something he’s anxious about, surely I can do the same, right?

My son, very wisely said, “Don’t let anyone take your dreams away from you.” Go after what you want and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from those dreams! I’ve been dreaming of a lot of things over the years and I’m going to stop letting life get in the way of those dreams! I hope my son realizes how much he has taught me over the past month!!



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