|Getting the robot ready at John's Hopkins for |
the invitational for its post-season competition and
therapy for the kids.
At one point in the finals a chain had come off our drive and there is a strict 5 min between matches or you forfeit. To me these are some of the best times as it separates the teams and shows their character. Other teams could see the cast on his finger and as he was trying hard to reach in and do the surgery - our team mates were helping as well as other kids from other teams, some yelling for needed tools and parts and others scrambling to get them. It says a lot about you when your competitors are helping you fix your bot.
So we were the finalist again. But their record spoke for itself - they had bested everyone and it was soul feeding to talk to others who had witnessed the Worlds matches. The great thing was there was money prizes and we were able to donate it to our Boston Community Center group we work with for robot supplies.
Going into the fall, I wasn't sure how the older kids were going to handle things. My son, the captain, was giving all signs that he was 'done' emotionally with it and might not want to do robotics at all. To me it was a double sided sword, I want him to realize that life is bigger than these experiences and to be able to walk away from things and go onto better things. I have seen people get too wound up with organizations and put too much importance into things that are actually trivial and not have perspective - and let it keep them from fully launching into life. But at the same time, I wanted him to finish the activity that has dominated his life and he loves with his head held high and not bitterness. And I had another six kids on the team to think about. One of whom lost his mother and grandmother that month to the same cancer. Having been through that before unfortunately only a year before with a different team member, I knew he and his father would need the social support that the team provided.
So we all decided to go forward again - this time with eyes wide open and without really a goal in mind other than to repair the kids. And fortunately when the challenge for the year was announced in early September, the creative juices started to flow and they came up with an epic design right out of the gate taking advantage of their special building skills that we all knew immediately could win the world. So onwards...