We are back in the city, me and the girls, and we spent the evening at the dojo for their classes followed by an hour of team training. During which, in the course of a drill, Eldest fell hard on her elbow. It was a silly accident; she was supposed to be kicking only and her partner was supposed to counter that kick and he somehow got her foot caught in his glove and down she went. With a very audible thud, followed by a cry of pain and some serious tears. Crap. Doesn't matter how tough and badass you think you are, when your baby's hurting, nothing else matters. If it hadn't been for the loud thud I would have shouted at her to get up and suck it up, but that noise... I went to her and quickly assessed the damage: nothing serious, phew. Just a good bang and a little blood. I took her out for a minute to get some cold water on it and give her a chance to compose herself, and did my best to reassure her that although she got scared and will no doubt get a fine bruise, she was not actually hurt.

"You're tough," I told her, "you'll be fine. Get back in there."

"OK, Mom."

Back in there she went, and fought very well. Later on a friend her age got hit pretty hard and had tears in her eyes because of it, and there was my baby comforting her friend, telling her she was tough and she would be fine.

Yeah, that did make me proud. And I made sure to tell her, too. She often says she wants to be as strong and tough as I am. I tell her no, you won't be. You'll be stronger and tougher than me. She's not sure she can believe that, but one day she'll see.