Monday, April 30, 2007

Proud of my 10 Year-Old Daughter

My 10 year-old daughter, Maria de Guadalupe, had her first real fight with a boy on Sunday, April 29th. The subject was one black 13 year-old boy, who was surrounded by his four friends, roughly equaling his age.

The fight, like so many real fights, was very quick, and really only involved one blow. At our local Southern Baptist Church, Harvest Baptist Church, some adults had handed one piece of candy to each child. The children went outside the back of the church (really a rented house) to play and eat.

We live in the North East section of town, which is predominantly black. Pastor David Middlebrooks and his his three sons, daughter and virtuous wife are also, and I love showing my son, Jose Francisco, the Pastor's grown sons, David, Darius (his third, DJ, is still at home), because they are such fine examples of good men. They're strong, smart, educated, and most definitely "mens' men." Jose Francisco's face lights up every time he sees them, and David and Darius call him their little buddy.

The young boys Maria dealt with, however, were new to the church, and undoubtedly did not come from as good a family as the Pastor's sons. When presented with one piece of candy a piece and a selfish desire for more, one of the boys decided to steal a piece of candy from a six year-old black girl.

Maria de Guadalupe stepped up to the 13 year-old boy. She's 101 pounds, 4'11", and most people, in part due to her height and in part due to her Latin blood endowing her earlier than white girls, think she's 12.

"You better give that back to her," she warned him. They quickly exchanged words, his to the effect of "No" with disdain and, upon one last warning from her that she'd make him, he and his friends laughed.

Now, bare in mind, I have taught Maria the basics of making a fist, forming a line with her hand bones and forearm, shown her how easy it is to gouge out an eyeball, where pressure points are, and the infamous "Kick them in the balls" trick. She'd nailed me there just the day before after I had, whilst sparring with her, hit her in the side of the ribs and her shoulder. I do these exercises for obvious reasons.

Maria was wielding, or wearing rather, large pump shoes. So she stomped on the 13 year old boy's foot so hard he nearly fell over. He hopped on one foot, she said, and yelped and nearly cried, but looked at his friends and "looked like my brother, realizing he was a boy and couldn't cry."

I asked her "What did his friends do?"

"They looked like 'We're not going to mess with her.' " And they didn't, nor was anyone else's candy stolen.

I told her that she did just the right thing, and that had he responded by punching her in the face, or continuing the fight, she would have gone after him just like she does me when she's had enough. "You would have come back at him so hard he would be unable to keep 'playing.' " I told her. She just said "Yep."

She was embarrassed at the attention I lavished on her, and wasn't proud of the fight but rather what she accomplished with it: the gave the piece of candy back to the six year-old girl, and her look was one of happiness and amazement.

Bare in mind that none of her siblings were around; Dulce Maria was still inside with Jose Francisco and Alejandrita, which Dulce confirmed of course. The 20 year-old daughter of an adult member of the church had stepped inside, apparently being bored. So Maria was outside, without an adult, facing 5 older boys, and it didn't matter. Even so, it was a battle well picked - she hit the ringleader, hit him while he was laughing and not expecting it, hit him with the only weapon she had (her thick pump shoes) right where it would work the best - in the fragile bones of the feet, which I've also shown her in the past.

(To be precise, her strike was aimed not at toes, but at the metatarsal bones of the foot.)

God, I love these children.

Maria knew the ages of the boys because newcomer kids give their name and age at the start of the service.

Oh! And her reward: I'm thinking of two options - buying her a $54 DVD set of Planet Earth (she loves nature shows but dislikes the "in your face" style of the late Croc Hunter) - or something else she and her sisters might enjoy: WiiPlay which bundles another Wii Remote. If you have any opinions on the two, please drop them in my comments.

I made an addendum to this post. Maria read this blog post for accuracy and added a piece of the story she had omitted before.