This visit to St Louis was for FIRST 2102 Team Paradox... for four days, but the fifth day was for us. I would like to thank the students, the teachers, the mentors, the parent volunteers, and FIRST, for effort, dedication, inspiration, coordination, organization, stamina... you know: everything! I would like to add a thank you to Tutu, who kept all safe and sound at the Bird House... could not have had any peace of mind without you, Ruth. I would like to thank Delia and Ron, who support us, and the team, on every level... you two help us achieve big dreams, and we are so happy to have you join us in the celebration. And finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank Geoff, William, Max, Maria, and Alex.
We are a FIRST Family. And I like to think we put family first, but that is not always easy. And the strength and grace it takes to balance family needs with individual needs, and dreams, is challenging indeed. Though we are frayed around the edges, and there is some hardcore evidence of domestic neglect... I think we have managed to
Now for family time. Now for other themes, and other agendas.
I am so glad we had a few hours to spend in St Louis before flying home to chores, and schedules. Sure, we brought our Paradox mascot along, and happy reflections of a long robotics season, but for the most part we were out, visiting new sights, and kind of getting reacquainted with just being a family.
We had lunch together... no meetings, no interruptions, no texting to find out who is where, no scouting, no debating why motors were slowing, or the best way to charge batteries... away from our family dining table, mini-bots and tools were far, far away.
Maria got to have one of her dreams come true... a carriage ride... just like in the movie, Meet Me In St Louis, when the whole family goes to The Louisiana Purchase Exposition!
Only instead of going to the State Fair, we went to the City Gardens! We got our feet wet, and our thoughts loose. We saw beautiful art, and whimsical sights.
Seems playing in water parks is an FRC Championships tradition, now that we have done the same in Atlanta and St Louis!
Eye see you Max.
Thank You, Chickenblog readers... the ones who left comments, made donations, endured my endless robo ramblings. I am tempted to tell you why I love the team and FIRST, and the... I think by now you know. Time for a break, yes? Thank you, though, it is even better with you.
Don't you love art that wants to be touched, can be touched. Like to run up and just grab a hold...
I did not read one sculpture plaque or sign. I just walked, and smiled, and listened. I saw new to me flowers, and noticed the changing clouds, the new storm approaching. I noted the boys, walking and talking... it gave me a deeper smile.
Perspective... there is a lot to reflect on.
And a lot to do.
Catching up, and attending to the things that need sorting... this is my new horizon and focal point. I am feeling a bit weary, kind of overwhelmed. It was easier to overlook what was being neglected when I was too busy, but as the robo dust settles, I am aware that we are far off balance.
I will be making a list... two lists actually. One list for me... the things I have to do and must do, and must rise to, and the second list is for God... those things which I am asking for help with, the stuff I cannot manage or sort for myself.