About five weeks ago our oldest son began taking martial arts lessons. He has loved every second of it. Since then we have also signed up our youngest son. They are in two different classes because of the difference in age. Luckily the classes are back to back. So twice a week we "set up camp" in order to make it through both class. Our daughter (and youngest child) keeps herself entertained...kind of. Usually she is in my lap or watching herself perform her version on ballet in the mirrors. Yesterday, was our oldest son's first opportunity to stripe test. I grew up dancing and taught dance for 10 years. So, I am not at all familiar with the terminology of martial arts. However, I will say that the discipline, class structure, determination, etc. is very similar to dance. Where was I??? Oh yes, it was our first experience stripe testing. In order to earn the next belt color, you first have to earn three black stripes. You have the opportunity to earn a stripe once a month. Our son had been studying so hard. He was responsible for terminology, techniques, and self defense. As a parent, you sit at the back of the room. You are able to watch all the kids but you cannot help them or give any hints during testing. I could physically feel myself flinch each time he was asked a question. However, he seemed so calm. I was a nervous wreck. Plus trying to keep the other two kids quiet and entertained seemed unusually hard. The test went on for 45 minutes!!!! That is a long time for a nervous momma! At the end of the test, all students "lock it up" (sit with legs criss cross and hands on knees). The teachers read a list of names. If your name is called you stand up. Our son's name was called!!! Wait...is that a good thing or a bad thing??? A few more hours, I mean seconds, passed and the question was answered. All students standing received their stripe!!!! EXHALE! I finally took my first breath in 45 minutes. In total confidence, he turned around and gave me a thumbs up. He melts my heart. Is it okay to tear up in the middle of a martial arts studio???