Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cade's Black Belt Test

I can always gauge just how amped up I was by how weary I feel, afterwards. Had I taken that Black Belt test, myself, I don't think I'd feel more exhausted: nodding off in church, yesterday, and falling asleep on the couch the minute Jim put the girls to bed, tonight.

And, yet, Saturday was a perfect day. Everything about it exceeded my highest expectations. I could tell we were every one of us being bathed in prayer: so much big love for the boy of my heart.

Family members and friends had traveled from Texas, Tennessee, Maryland, and various parts of Virginia to watch Cade test for his Black Belt. I found myself surrounded by the family into which I'd been born, and--knowing the obstacles they'd faced in the getting there--I received our togetherness as a miracle.

My friend Darlene stayed home with the girls, which was such a blessing; I was able to concentrate fully on what was happening on the gymnasium floor. Darlene is one of those rare babysitters in whom I have such confidence that--for a few hours, anyway--I can completely forget I have tiny, crazy children.

Likewise, my friend Anjie photographed the entire event. I've blogged about Anjie, before, but didn't mention: she's the finest sports photographer Powhatan has to offer. I had no idea when I met her. (You can see more of her work, here.)

A year or two ago, I saw a photo that Anjie had taken of a girl suspended mid-air, jumping a hurdle, and I told her: I'm going to need you, the day of Cade's Black Belt test. I'd been told there would be restrictions regarding photography, but Anjie had everything straightened out within five minutes.

I'd never seen Anjie at work, and it was truly a beautiful thing: so much fluidity of motion and, really, just the perfect ability to do so much while simultaneously blending into walls. I can't tell you the joy and peace I experienced in knowing: she (with her amazing eye and big ol' camera) was capturing it all. She's made 334 photos available to me, but here are some of my very favorites:

This photo makes me cry; I really FEEL that expression.
That would be called: proud mama.

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