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  • Shihan Kendall

An Ode to Dojo Moms

“It takes a female to have a baby,

It takes a woman to raise a child,

It takes a mother to raise them correctly,

It takes a warrior to show them how to change the world.” ― Shannon L. Alder

It feels so absolutely perfect that Mother's Day this year falls smack dab in the middle of a time when our society is showing so much appreciation for First Responders. Moms are, after all, the very first on the scene. They are EMS, Fire and Rescue, Emergency Room Staff and Law Enforcement, all rolled into one.

I feel very lucky to have had a front-row view of the front-line heroics of mothers. I am the son of, and husband to, two women who in very different ways and circumstances raised children eager to embrace the world, and hopefully make little changes in it in ways that matter. Moreover, I have for the past decade and a half had the privilege of seeing Dojo Mom's in action.

I've seen the comfort and understanding you've given an uncertain child before nudging them forward into unfamiliar territory. I've seen you tend to their bangs and bumps with the perfect mix of sympathy and "suck-it-up." I've seen the respect for rules and norms that you work to instill in your children, while still being fierce advocates when the system has gotten it wrong.

It's not an easy thing, striking all those notes. It requires all the qualities we strive for in our Dojo training: Courage, Compassion, Resourcefulness, Endurance, Ferocity and Kindness. You Dojo Moms are the Warriors we all should aspire to be, and because of that your children will indeed make changes to our world--sometimes big, sometimes small, always for the better.

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