Wednesday, November 14, 2007


My parents least that I can remember.....let me quit anything until I saw it through to the end. And it used to drive me absolutely crazy. It was a really great lesson. My husband's folks were the same. If you started lessons, joined a team, made a commitment, you saw it through. Don't let your team down, quitters never win...that whole thing.

We've held firm to that with our own kids, as well. They've tried all the sports. Usually at some point, they didn't want to go to practice or a game and wanted to throw in the towel. Pretty typical. We wouldn't let them. "You don't have to play next year, but you can't quit in the middle of the season." Yeah, sure, it was the principle of the thing, but it was also that we'd usually coughed up some cash for the activity - something that they just HAD to do - and, dammit, you're gonna finish.

Tonight we let #1 quit something. And I'm feeling really guilty about it!

He was part of a First Lego League/Lego Mindstorms Robotics team last year through his 5th grade class. It was a blast! We all loved it. It was very new and novel. The kids did awesome, too! They placed 4th in Regionals (here at Bradley in Peoria) out of more than 30 (maybe more) teams. It was the first year that the coaches/teacher ever had a team and our kids were all 10 years old in a field of 10-14 year olds. It was really, really great.

And let me tell you something. I think EVERY kid should have a chance to do something like this. These kids had to build and program a mini-robot to complete a predetermined set of tasks based on a "theme". Last year's theme was nano-technology. They also had to research nano-technology, then write and perform a "skit" showing what they learned. Additionally, at competition, they had to present to the judges just exactly how they'd built the robot and how they'd problem solved together - no "Mom and Dad did my science project" fir this one.

It was just wonderful. They went to state and took 12th in the ENTIRE STATE OF ILLINOIS! Most of the teams were from places like Downer's Grove, Waukegan, Carey....pretty swank areas. And our kids did that well.

So, it's Jr. High now and the idea was to keep last's years team together again. But Jr. High sure is a lot more busy than 5th grade. And Lego practice night is/was the same night as #2's guitar lessons. And #2's guitar lesson is in a neighboring town (Pekin - yeah, the teacher is that great) so I was dropping #1 off at Legos, taking #2 to guitar, waiting a 1/2 hour, then driving back and waiting a few to pick #1 up again. (The Dad is still working 2nd shift most of the time so he isn't available to help with the after school taxi service.)

Then we missed the scrimmage because we were in Florida. And #1's heart just isn't into it this year. He's doing concert band and Jazz Band (which is before school 2x per week) and Scholastic Bowl twice a week, so tonight we talked and decided that this wasn't the year for Legos.

We feel really strongly about not over-scheduling the kids for stuff. Music has always been important to them and we do make them keep up with that...well, we don't make them, it's just what they do.

So why in the world do I feel so guilty about letting him quit?

Damn these catholic genes.

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