I could hear them before I saw them – the Friday evening members of the gym’s Kid’s Club. They were burning off whatever energy was left from school and daycare and doing it loud enough to be heard over the yoga room’s sound system.
I caught the eye of the club’s supervisor and talked with her about the best way to track down her boss to see about teaching rudimentary kung fu moves to the children. While we spoke, I noticed the children growing more and more quiet, fixating one at a time on the long stick of white wood that I held. They began to line up to return to the kids’ room, and their program director for the evening asked me to use the six-foot-long staff to retrieve a stuck ball.
“What are you going to do with that?” The boy screaming the question at me couldn’t have been more than three.
“I’m going to do kung fu with it after I use it to get that ball down from the top of the light.” Two seconds later, with the ball safely bouncing toward the room’s open door, I was met with the same question.
“Now what are you going to do with it?” A girl ran up next to him and looked the staff up and down as I answered.
“I’m going to spin it real fast as soon as you guys are all safely back across the hall,” I answered with a smile.
“Are you going to smash a banana with it?” The little girl asked out of nowhere. It took all I had not to burst into laughter at my inquisitors. After a surreptitious sigh, I answered with as straight a face as possible.
“No. It wouldn’t work very well for me in kung fu if I used it on a banana first.” She just stared at me, with a challenge clear on her face.
“But you could just –
“Everybody walk,” the supervisor said, saving me from a serious discussion on the use of a long staff to get a banana smoothie started… at least for now. 🙂