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September 13, 2002 - Friday
I got an odd flyer in Harry's parent message box at preschool. It was for a free Karate session that would be held there next Wednesday. It said that after the free class my child would have an opportunity to sign up for an eight week series, presumably not free, that would also be taught at the center. I could sign and return the form if I did not want my child to participate, as if he'd be one of the only ones to not do it. I was confused, if not troubled.

Now, I know karate is not all about chopping bricks and kicking walls and that discipline, self-respect, and exercise are often listed as its virtues. I'll even say that I'd accept all of that for most students. But, Harry isn't three years old yet. He hardly knows that the whole world doesn't love him, let alone that he'd need to learn to fight or defend himself. He doesn't know about exercise, at least not in any kind of formal way. And, it seems to me that the last thing I want him and his classmates in preschool to be doing is practicing their little karate moves when they get back to the room. Fortunately, everyone I spoke with at the center agreed that Harry and his class where too young and that it was likely a mistake that I got a flyer about it at all. In year's past it was mostly Pre-K kids that participated.

Still, Harry wouldn't have done it anyway. I've been getting reports from his teacher that Harry doesn't participate in too many group activities, even ones that I'd have expected like swimming in the wading pool and reading books. No one seems particularly concerned about this somewhat antisocial behavior and I guess it's no surprise that Harry is still getting comfortable in his school. Since he started in mid-August, there have effectively been three or four different teachers in his room and that doesn't make for much consistency. And, Harry has always approached new things cautiously. Fortunately, he is starting to talk about his classmate as friends and hopefully it won't be long before he sheds that protective shroud.

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