Karate is Always on Tuesday

So that happened. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, Fire, Evac, Homecoming, Clean-up, Flu, and now it’s Back to School for Ax, after nearly a month away. He was adamant this morning that today would be an after-school karate day: “It’s Tuesday and karate is always on Tuesdays,” he proclaimed, packing his gi into his backpack.

I said, “I think karate is today but I don’t know for sure.” I didn’t know if the post-break, post-near total destruction of our entire town schedule would be the same as the pre- all that schedule.

“It is today,” he repeated, “I know it is.”

I called Sensei Brian and he answered the phone even though it was 7:30am.

“Hello, Sensei Brian,” I said, “It’s Sascha and Ax calling. Happy New Year!”

“Happy New Year,” Sensei said.

“We were just calling because Ax is quite certain there is karate today and I wanted to check on that.”

“Well, I am going to come to the school but I’m not sure what’s going on.”

“Ok, great. Ax will be there ready for practice.”

“Ok then I’ll be there too.”

“Great.” And we said our goodbyes and the now-standard I’m-glad-you-are-well’s which is code for I’m-glad-you’re-alive-and-your-house-didn’t-burn-down and I hung up the phone.

“It sounds like there will be karate today,” I said to Ax.

“I know, mom,” he said. And he zipped his lunch box and his gi into his backpack and put on his shoes, ready to resume kindergarten as if the past month had never happened, as if the world was as safe a place as ever and that his life was as stable as ever, secure, safe, protected.

“Have a great day today!” I called to him as he left for school.

“I will,” he said, with enviable certainty.

It must be nice to have absolute faith that Tuesdays will always bring karate and each day will always be great. It must be nice to simply start over, do over, keep going, as if none of the dings and dents and chaos and disappointments of life had ever happened. That kind of buoyancy can’t be reserved only for six-year-olds. I’m gonna keep going.