Friday, March 15, 2013

What Not to Say: Aikido Edition

Spring Break Geo-Cache!
I've been a little absent in internet-land because it's spring break and we've been doing family things! But, a friend of mine (who is a researcher at St. Jude) shared an article that I really wanted to share with you. The article is on scientists' discovery of children's cells living in their biological mother's brains. And click here for the actual PloS article.

The link between a mother and child is profound, and new research suggests a physical connection even deeper than anyone thought. The profound psychological and physical bonds shared by the mother and her child begin during gestation when the mother is everything for the developing fetus, supplying warmth and sustenance, while her heartbeat provides a soothing constant rhythm.

The physical connection between mother and fetus is provided by the placenta, an organ, built of cells from both the mother and fetus, which serves as a conduit for the exchange of nutrients, gasses, and wastes. Cells may migrate through the placenta between the mother and the fetus, taking up residence in many organs of the body including the lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin. These may have a broad range of impacts, from tissue repair and cancer prevention to sparking immune disorders.

So fascinating! It's also relevant to me right now. To share a little more about the aikido saga, I mentioned that I talked to the person in charge of the school we were formerly associated with. I'm deliberately not mentioning any names because I really do think that this is a difference in values and methods more than anything else. At least on my end. I think that the people who get what they need from that style of training are where they need to be. It just isn't for me. So, I don't want to, I guess, gossip? I would just like to share the situation because it's interesting and there isn't much out there on these kind of conflicts.

Pinkie pins...favorite thing I learned from the School That Will Not Be Named
Anyway, he told me that the black belt test is the hardest f***** thing I will ever do. Which, no. Not on any level. Abusive drug addict dad? Check. Putting myself through college? Check. Traumatic childbirth with Autumn? Check. Burying a child? Check. Almost dying? Check. Black belt test? No. Freaking. Way!

I told him we weren't going to have this conversation because on the scale of my life, this test rates seriously low on the hardness scale. He said, "speaking of that..." and went on to tell me all about how motherhood is keeping me from my goals, that it's a wall I need to overcome. BAHAHAHAHA. I told him that he doesn't get to speak into my life about motherhood because if my choices to be a good parent (not making an hour and a half round trip to train an hour and a half 3 to 4 times a week for 8 months) are keeping me from my goals then, in my opinion, I'm making good choices! Especially since I know I train enough, hard enough, and often enough. Will I need to do a push about a month or two before the test? Yes. But right now, what I need to do is maximize the training I can do in between my teaching schedule and my, yes, family life. And if this group can't meet me in that place, then I need to start looking for one that can.

In his defense he did say that was fair enough, haha. And then promptly ruined it when he informed me that when things go hard or wrong in his life, he gets over it. Which is what I need to do with both Garrett and my injuries. I...what...HUH? One, NOT A DOCTOR. And two? I told him we weren't even going to discuss that part of my life because a child dying is NOT the same kind of hardship that is his community college experience. And he agreed that he shouldn't have gone there. Definitely a What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent!

Being a good parent.
That's what made me connect aikido and this article. I know that it's a hard thing to grasp. However, most people can grasp that a parent losing a child is not something to simply "get over," as if the child is a tooth that's pulled. And that is on many levels. I'm, frankly, shocked that someone with no connection to me outside of Facebook and the training mat would feel comfortable saying something so harsh. If the school's stances on teaching (more on that later) weren't enough to tell me I've made the right choice, then their stance on parenthood is enough.

After thinking about it some, I realized that there is only one parent in the upper ranks. The guy who injured me. And his daughter is a teen who lives with her mother full time. Out of many upper belts and black belts, one parent. I didn't realize it before but that's definitely another sign that things were never going to work out. Sigh. Hindsight!! edit: I just remembered there is another person who is a parent! But, he got his rank elsewhere and is fairly new to this school.


  1. Things didn't work out--not because you're a parent--but because they're misogynists, Sharaze. You can't deny something as fundamental as parenting and pretend to be anything but a "boys club."

    1. You're definitely right. Although, I wonder if there have been other dads with the same problem, like maybe Stephan...oh, you know what? I just realized there's one other person who is a parent. He's new, though, and got his rank through a different group. I need to make that change in the text.