Making an Entrance

December 4, 2011

Any martial arts student can tell you the proper way to enter a dojo – you bow. It’s a sign of respect. If you don’t bow on your way in you are asked to go back and enter properly or in some cases you are instructed to kneel at the edge of the training area and wait until you are invited to join class. It quickly becomes routine and at some point the idea of not bowing is almost offensive.

I want that for my house. Okay fine, you don’t have to bow (although secretly I would love that), but no trapesing through my kitchen with muddy boots please. Also, no leaving random shoes, and sometimes socks *shudder*, strewn about my entryway. It has been almost ten years of reminding kids to put their shoes on the rack, their coats on the hook , and their hats in the basket and yet they still don’t do it by rote. Why is this? I think kids’ minds have a “Test For Breakage” rule. This rule basically says to the child “if you get away with breaking this rule once, then that rule no longer applies”. I’m almost tempted to make them put on all their outside gear and enter again, and again, and again, in a continuous cycle, until it sticks.

Hmm, the idea in that last sentence actually seems pretty good. All I need is a good night’s sleep and a little time to mentally prepare for endurance that will most definitely be required. I’ll let you know if I can teach my children how to make a proper entrance. Maybe I can even get them to bow.