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Before Saturday's children's class I walked into the dojo, bowed and headed to the ladies' changing room. On the benches sat one of our little aikidoka, a 5 year old, son of one of the nidans. His father was teaching the advanced children's class when I arrived.
I noticed that the child was not wearing his gi, so I asked him, "Where's your gi?"
"I don't know." He replied with big brown eyes, looking a trifle concerned.
I then went to the changing room. A few minutes later when I was putting on my hakama I heard sobbing in the dojo. His father and his assistant came over to him and asked what happened.
"I DON'T KNOW WHERE MY GI IS!!!" wailed the child. Sniff, sniff.
"It's in the men's changing room, buddy." His father said, a bit mystified about his son's sudden concern about the whereabouts of his gi. His father continued, jokingly, "If you give me a dollar I'll give it to you. Do you have a dollar?"
When his father was folding his hakama after teaching his class, I said that I had asked his son about his gi.
"Oh so you're the one who started it all." Smile.
At this point his son was happily scurrying around the dojo in his gi, chasing down the beach ball among the other children, having forgotten about what had happened only minutes earlier.