Eleven ninjas, one house, ‘no kicking in the kitchen!’

This is one of those coordination-challenged black belts, so we like to keep an eye on her when she starts moving quickly. Not that we don't trust her. We're just playing it safe.
By : 
Lydia Hanson
Too Hick to be Square

You know what’s more unusual than 13 home schooled siblings — especially ones who consider bare feet to be the footwear norm and who will choose sticks as the ideal weapon/tool for 90 percent of situations?

Thirteen home schooled siblings who are also ninjas.

No, that wasn’t a really bad punch line to a joke that no one would get but us — although now that you mention it, “really bad punch line to a joke no one would get but us” is a pretty good description of our lives. 

But I’m not kidding about the ninja part. The Clan, or at least certain members of the Clan, have been taking martial arts classes for close to five years and the number of black belts we have stashed away downstairs is growing every year. With five years experience for some of us and many, many hours invested in training, it’s high time I told you what it’s like to live with ninjas.

Martial arts started as an activity for Mom to do with my sisters and I. However, it didn’t take long to transform into a whole-family experience that takes up all our Tuesday nights (and a bunch of others) and gets several of my younger siblings in the shower on a regular basis.

Don’t tell them I said that. They don’t read my column — their loss — so they’ll never know unless someone rats me out.

Five years down the road, our ranks of regularly practicing ninjas have gotten more and more impressive. What used to be a gaggle of uncoordinated white belts turned into four black belts, three junior black belts, two rapidly advancing colored belt students, and two wannabe ninjas who soaked up more ninja knowledge than anyone bargained for simply by sitting in the back of classes and watching for weeks in a row.

In other words, if we weren’t an intimidating crowd before, we definitely have the skills for it now.

Of course, being ninjas has also equipped us with a whole variety of very weird skills which non-ninjas may find a little difficult to understand. For instance, one of the things we do for fun now is break cement pavers and patio blocks. With our hands.

We’re also much deadlier with sticks than we used to be, and when Mom says “no kicking in the kitchen” it’s because of tragic past experience.

The one thing we haven’t learned as ninjas? Stealth. I think it must be an advanced black belt thing we just haven’t gotten to yet. 

But even if that is the case, ninja stealth isn’t something I’m likely to learn, because I haven’t been a practicing ninja for almost two years. Instead, I view the Clan’s ninja activities from the periphery — although I should point out that living in a house with 11 ninjas provides plenty of incentive to keep one’s head in the game.

And from the uncertain safety of that periphery, I’ve learned that although certain Clan ninjas have black belts now, they still struggle with coordination — and I don’t think that situation is going to change any time soon.