Thursday, March 15, 2018

Not Such A Bad Day

It was a rough weekend. The Indiana State Robotics Tournament was held in Indianapolis, and my boys went in feeling like they had something to prove. They had won a lot of tournaments, and their skills score was the highest in the world; so they had bit of a target on their backs.
During the season, my boys learned that victory has its downside. All year long, tournaments required them to compete against kids on their own team. Winning meant that friends lost. When this happened repeatedly, teammates didn't always feel like celebrating with them. (This makes COMPLETE sense. It's human nature, but it was hard on them at times.) When they broke the world record, they started getting attention worldwide. They received some encouragement at first; but things soon turned ugly. The robotics community, those whom they will compete against at Vex Worlds, started pointing out and focusing on their weaknesses. My boys planned to use the State Tournament to help prove that the criticism was undeserved.
It didn't work out like they hoped. Gears on their robot motors started shattering, and they had no idea why. They spent the day repairing the robot, competing, and then repairing the robot again.  It was hard to watch. Family members had driven hours to support them, and all hearts were hurting for these kids whose shoulders were sagging. Clay's 89-year-old dad, Grandpa Rassi, was taking it all in and soon leaned over to me to say, "Well, sometimes you have good days, and some days there's water in the basement."

I think this is my new life motto.
With one quick statement, I had a new perspective. You see, we had recently lived through the hard work and chaos of a flooded, finished basement. Our basement had been the robotics team hangout. It had a game field in it and allowed the different students to work on robots outside of regular school hours. Twenty years of dry basement was no match for this year's thaw combined with days of rain. Two weeks before the State tournament, our basement had water in it for 3 days. We pumped it out, and more kept coming in. The carpet and the drywall were destroyed, but we were able to save all the "stuff".
Our boys worked alongside us. They witnessed the destruction. They saw us praise God during the hard. It was an unforgettable life experience. Since then, we have been living in crazy. All things that were in the basement are now in our living room, our bedrooms, and our foyer. We spend every spare moment cleaning and rebuilding as we recover the basement. Our lives were full before: now they are exhausting. The state tournament struggle was just "one more thing" on a long list of things that haven't gone our way lately...but with one simple statement, Grandpa gave us an alternative viewpoint. Yes, the day was hard, but the boys learned ways that they need to improve their robot. They learned about holding their heads high despite what other people may think, and they learned about perseverance. We can focus on the good from the day and keep remembering that any day when there ISN'T water in the basement may not be such a bad day after all.


  1. Becky- This post was refreshing! We also have been dealing with the craziness of restoring a finished basement from the flooding a few weeks ago. I feel like we are living in the middle of chaos right now trying to get everything back to how it was. The girls were also working hand in hand with us in trying to salvage everything. Even though we didn't "do schoolwork" those days they were learning life lessons.

    1. It was such a time of family bonding! I know we are not alone in all the crazy moments and am so thankful that you were refreshed. (I gotta tell you, I feel for you guys. We at least have two teenage boys to haul and carry. In fact, they are in the basement moving desks and couches tonight! It's like having two extra adults. I hope you had some help too!)

  2. Being number one means there is only one way to go. Everyone is hunting for you. Number one is the hardest place to stay in.


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