Sitting on the Tae Kwon Do studio bench watching the boys do drills had become my new normal. I either brought my laptop to complete work or spent the hour conversing in hushed tones with other parents. Yes, nightly practice was smack-dab in the middle of what we used to call supper time. We had chosen to sacrifice our regular connection around the table when our boys had been invited by some neighbors to come to “bring a friend night” over a year earlier. They came home from that experience effusively begging us to join. We conceded, and before long we were spending evenings carpooling at 6:00 pm.
Our new routine meant rearranging our rhythm. Because Tae Kwon Do requires a lot of strenuous activity, I would only give the boys a snack before leaving. They returned home energetic and ravenous at around 8:00 pm. Both supper and bedtime were thrown off. To say my boys loved Tae Kwon Do would be an understatement.
Having extracurriculars at supper time was unheard of in my childhood. Sports, theater, dance, and music lessons all happened mid-afternoon. In the small town where I grew up, every evening one of the moms in the neighborhood would shout out their kitchen window “Supper!” and all of the kids would disperse to their respective homes.