I am sitting in my car at 8:34 AM—cigarette lighter fan going, ice cold Diet Cokes within reach, listening to Spotify, typing on my laptop on a desk that attaches to my steering wheel… What a time to be alive!
Now, I’m not sitting in a random parking lot like a creep; I’m sitting in the parking lot of a local middle school like a weirdo. My Saturdays for the next 3-4 months will be occupied with taking Josh to his Korean language class. Yeah…Korean.
Newsflash: I’m not Korean.
Neither is my husband nor are either of my children. I am a firm believer that kids learn better when they actually want to because I’m one of those kinds of hippy nerds. You know, the correct kind. Of course, he was completely uninterested in my 5 years of high school and college Spanish that I’ve completely forgotten. Japanese was briefly considered which would have been awesome, but he is, if anything, a practical old man in a young man’s body and chose Korean based on his 6 years of tae kwon do. He has a variety of instructors that are fluent and excited to help him practice and he also reasons that if he ever has the opportunity to study at Kukkiwon, he should probably know how to communicate.
I’m almost 4 times his age and he has his shit together better than I do. Fucking hell.
So that decision lead us to the Korean language program recommended by his Grandmaster taekwondo instructor. It’s the same school that his own children attended so you can’t really get a better recommendation than that. Every Saturday we leave the house by 8 AM so we can eat breakfast and make it to class by 8:45; class ends at 12:15 PM. We study daily throughout the week and when I say “we”, I mean I observe that he does his homework and studying and sporadically suggest he watch a YouTube video to check pronunciation. I was able to highlight some words in a Korean-English dictionary for him. I’m helping.
This class started on August 10 which just so happened to overlap with his tae kwon do black belt ceremony. See? So much has happened since I last blogged for real! He tested in May of this year and the weeks leading up to his exam involved extra classes throughout the week and double classes on Monday nights. It was also expensive, at least, what we consider expensive. It was practically spit-take expensive, but completely worthwhile and necessary. Could you imagine how shitty that would have been to say no to such a milestone? Hey, I know you spent *literally* half of your life working up to this, but I’m going to take this opportunity to stop supporting your goals.
The hardest part was waiting for the official confirmation that he would be promoted—all test results are sent to Korea and reviewed and approved at Kukkiwon which took about 8 weeks. His first day of Korean language class was cut short so we could attend his black belt ceremony where I cried for LITERALLY the entire time. I’M CRYING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THAT’S MY KIND OF PROUD MOM CRAZY BULLSHIT.
I know that it might seem weird to just sit outside for three and a half hours, but I’m about 40 minutes away from home based on traffic so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to drive him here, drop him off, go home for an hour or so, come pick him up, go back home. It just feels wasteful for both time and gas. There is a Sam’s Club right down the street, and an H-Mart not far from that, so at least when I need to shop, it’s convenient. I’ve been spending most of my time doing lesson plans and research but now, I’m trying to use at least part of this block of time for Me whether it be writing, working on some perpetually unfinished craft project, or simply napping. Honestly, at first I felt a bit like a martyr for “selflessly” sacrificing my Saturday mornings for my offspring but that mindset was, at least for me, true mommy blogger virtue signaling bullshit. I fucking chose this, happily and freely. I don’t have brat kids that beg or guilt me; in fact, quite the opposite. Josh spent quite some time really considering what he wanted to do–tae kwon do 3 days a week, swim two days a week and now this class for the entirety of his Saturday morning. He purposefully declined joining the demo team at TKD so that he could focus on what was already on this plate.
If you’re unaware, a demo team is exactly what it sounds like: a group that demonstrates all of the cool, choreographed showy moves. We went to a local tournament this year to support some of his classmates and ever since he hasn’t stopped talking about how his school should re-start their demo team so he could join. Sure enough, they decided to re-form and he was really torn. Demo team would have meant one more evening in class for a total of EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK doing something. He made his decision based on my boundaries, his own time restrictions, and how it would impact his family, not just himself. Again, what even is this child!
Luckily, I don’t have to worry about Robin wanting to learn Korean—as of right now, she says she wants to learn Italian so she can understand musical terminology better. GREAT.