And once again, we present you with the unoriginal title, yay!

The point is —

Talk about crazy conversations while on our way to Kids First today.

Migi was explaining how he brought photon men (???) in to battle with the Romans in Age of Empires. (Actually, I think they were Egyptians. But I think he generalizes all ‘his’ men as “Romans.” Ok.) I was like, “But Migs. Then that doesn’t count as history. (Playing Age of Empires counts as History. Normally.)” “Fine. Then I’ll only bring them in when it’s a desperate situation.” “But, Migs, that still doesn’t count as history. Bringing in photon men… *struggles to explain* alters…” “– the course of history?”

We all burst out laughing. Yes, indeed it does. But that wasn’t the point!!! The point is, they can’t bring in people who don’t even yet exist by our times and use them to conquer Assyrians! etc. They’re not learning anything by doing that. Nvm.

We keep driving. A car passes on our left. Was it two? three? pairs of feet sticking out of the windows. Yep. One pair had socks on. So then we start fantasizing about what we should do to them. Mother suggested…

Mum: What are those tube thingies?
me: Uhm… spit balls?
Mum: No, no! Poison darts!!
me: … Mom… *shocked* so violent… So that’s where the kids get it from…
Mum: No, I get it from my kids.
me: That’s even worse!!!!


We came to a stoplight, and Mother could have been closer to the car in front of her but she was staying well away from the car with the feet sticking out, which was next to the car in front of us…

Mum: … so that we don’t smell their stinky feet.
me: Mum. The stink’s gonna permeate the windows?
Mum: Yes. Their indecency will permeate the windows.

And then later. We’re driving home and we pass…

Mum: Oh look! Red people!

…. yes’m they are. People in red uniforms.

Mum: Red and white!

Yes’m, in red and white. xD Mommy funny.

Now let me see… well, we were at Kids First and Mother asked me why it seemed to her sometimes that she and I are closer now that we’re here in OH, but that we were closer as a family in PA, despite the fact that we have CFC here and stuff. It’s quite true. And I explained how I saw it. She suggested that I write about my thoughts. So here they are.

It’s quite simple really. TSKS brings everyone down to the same level, regardless of age. True, CFC is a family ministry, and the parents are supposed to be involved in the kids’ activities, but that doesn’t change the fact that the way CFC works is different from TSKS. Obviously, we are all at different stages in our Faith journey. The talks for CFC, SFC, YFC, and KFC, then, are tailored to their audience. We are still separated by an age barrier, a natural one, but a barrier nonetheless. True that the parents are ideally very up-to-date on what their kids are learning, but they’re not technically a part of it, in the sense that TSKS allowed our parents to be. Of course we’re taught as we grow older that we should be open to the many lessons that we can be taught by those younger than us, and that the leaders are there to serve and learn from their members, that just because we are leaders doesn’t mean we know it all, but that doesn’t mean that KFC talks are given to the CFC.

The difference, then, is that the things we are taught in the CFC(/SFC/YFC/KFC) are things that, yes, we are taught to apply in all aspects of our lives, but exactly how we are to apply them is, generally, very ambiguous. Whereas in TSKS, the application is very clearly defined, and the definition is not based on age.

No matter what your age is, you have to start at level one, at white belt. And so, even though the classes are separated by age, younger students can still be higher ranking members. What TSKS did for us is that it brought Paco and Dad down to the same level. Then Migi entered, and then I did, bringing me down to a level lower than Migi. TSKS taught me how much I could learn from my siblings. It taught me to look up to the boys and respect them, despite the 5- and 7.5-year age difference. Not that I don’t respect them now, or that I did not respect them before, but I learned to respect them more because of their higher level of discipline, of skill, of commitment, etc. It was sort of like having our positions reversed. True, I wasn’t the best student during those years in PA. But in general, I was expected to have the higher level in those things. I’m higher up in grades, after all. And so in karate, it was like all that was reversed, and I learned to appreciate more what I could learn from them. I’m sure Daddy experienced something like this when Migi or Paco would end up remembering more of a form than he did, and would have to show him. And they also learned from Daddy, the importance of fundamentals, which Daddy had learned early on because he had started down that path ages back, and so starting with Paco brought him back to the beginning, but much of it was re-learning, perfecting.

I think a lot of it also had to do with friends. Here, our friends are very distinctly separate. I think I can consider myself a lot closer to, say, Tito Leo, than a lot of the other teens, and certainly better than my siblings. But, say, Tito AJ, is more Daddy and Mommy’s friend rather than Paco or Migi’s, see? Whereas at TSKS, our friends were all the same. We had different close ones, but to give an example, Daddy could be talking to Bob, say, and Migi could be waiting, but not thinking, “Oh when is my Dad going to be done talking to his friend.” Rather, when Daddy was done talking to Bob, Migi could expect Bob to address him as familiarly as he had addressed Dad. Not a “Oh is this your son” type thing, but a “Hi Migi!” like coming from a friend. And at the same time, just because someone was older, considered closer in maturity level to, say, Dad, as opposed to Paco, didn’t necessarily mean that Dad knew them better. Paco had friends among the adults that maybe Dad didn’t see as often. Dad taught/helped out with some classes that Paco wasn’t in.

Age wasn’t really a factor at TSKS. It had the same requirements for everyone, based on rank, not on age. And while there were other reasons, I’m sure, that was probably one of the biggest reasons that it brought my family, especially me and Dad and Pacs and Migs, very close.

I am closer to my Mom now, it’s true. My PA years, especially the 5th/6th grade times, communication was often quite forced. Eh, it’s not as bad as it sounds, but I guess what I mean is, I never really went to Mum purely to hang out, to chill, to talk. Nowadays, it’s so bad :D that she sometimes has to remind me (and herself) that she needs to stop talking to me for a bit and give attention to the little ones. When I’m bored these days, the first place I go is usually to wherever Mum is just to chat. So that’s a major difference.

Perhaps what bothers me, then, is that I wish that we could all have the best of both worlds. We are, as a family, certainly not what we were in PA. And at the same time, Mum and I are much better off for having moved, I think.

We hope that Italy will give us some of it all.


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