And I'm thinking in the back of my head that it's Saia, it's gotta be Saia, of course it's Saia, but then I don't know if that's just because we've been seeing such growth and passion in her develop over the last few months, or because, you know, she's MY daughter, or because she's actually deserving of this -- objectively.
I wasn't certain enough, nor did I want to be sooo presumptuous as to already have my FLIP out and rolling when...THEY CALLED HER NAME!!
And I gasped. Out loud. And all the kids turned around, including Saia. And she gets so embarrassed, but in a good way. And she stood right up and walked up to the front of the group, as though she, herself, were expecting to hear her name, too.
But I did get the rest of the informal ceremony here:
And she was just beaming!!! And now she gets to wear this really cool red, white, and blue belt with the words Student of the Month embroidered in gold. And regardless of who's higher ranked in the class, she'll get to be the first in line all month long, outrank everyone, and essentially be teacher's pet.
And yes, you'll notice, it's hard not to notice, Santiago's big pouty face in the video. But we talked to him afterward and explained to him, first of all, why she earned it, and, secondly, why he should be a good sport, a good brother, and a good friend and support her -- especially in front of everyone else.
It was really good timing for her, and positively reinforced (for both of them) so much of what we we've been trying to teach them. And although, in general, the dojo could be a little more strict, a little less generous with their tips and belts, and a little harder on the slackers (and the chatty cathy parents on the sidelines who have absolutely no volume control), the fact that they seem to be so in sync with us, and work so well with us to reward or help straighten up behavior has been a really nice surprise.
So, yay, Saia!! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR STUDENT OF THE MONTH BELT! You really worked hard to get it, and you deserve all the goodies that come with it! (One of which is a pizza party for 10 of her best buds this summer!!)