I’ve never had the honor of being a soccer mom, dance mom, or any other sport mom. Maybe someday one of my kids will be really into team sports, but not so far. When Z was barely two years old he awkwardly but methodically maneuvered his toddler chair and mini basketball hoop to where he could sit and put the ball into the hoop. I have the whole thing on video. I should have known then that he was more into engineering than athletics.
When Z was 7 he asked his dad “When you were young did you HAVE to play football?” J replied “No, I didn’t have to. I wanted to. I enjoyed being on the football team”. Z let out a big exhale and said “Oh, good. I thought it was mandatory”. We still get a good laugh about that one.
Z started working on coding and robotics when he was in Kindergarten.
It is his passion!
So when the opportunity to be a part of a competitive robotics team was presented, he jumped on it. He had to have teachers referrals and fill out an application in order to make the team but now he is one of seven kids in the school’s fifth grade FLL team and he is loving it. FLL stands for First Lego League. It sounds like it involves a lot of building and lego construction, but that’s not the majority of what they do. It’s mostly about programing the Midstorm EV3 robot which works with legos and figuring out how to complete missions and get through obstacles.
I won’t go into all the details because quite frankly it’s over my head.
This year’s theme is space which is Z favorite subject. He loves to watch space documentaries and read about space. Don’t get him started on nebulas or kepler22-b (I had to have him remind the name of that planet so that I could include it in this post I don’t anything about space). The cool thing is I have a friend who works for NASA in Houston and the FLL team was actually able to do a Facetime interview with her for part of their research. It was so cool to watch my friend who I knew when she was in Highschool interact with and inspire my son and his friends. They geeked out over getting to talk with her.
For Z, the idea that he can combine robots and space means he is living the dream, but just like with sports, you have to put in a lot of effort and time to go the distance.
The challenge is rewarding though.
So that’s what he’s been doing since August and it’s all leading up to the first competition which is this weekend! We are so excited for Z. If they qualify to move on to the next round it will be a first for 5th grade at his school. I am trying to balance staying positive and hoping for the best, but mentally preparing for what happens if they don’t move on to the next level. I’m sure some of you sports mom have more experience with this and can give me advice on how to encourage my young man when things don’t turn out the way he wanted.
No matter what happens I couldn’t be prouder of Z. He knows that I am proud of him and one of the things that makes me the proudest is that he is sincerely grateful for this opportunity. He always tells me thank you for all the time, money, and efforts that we have given for him to be able to do this. Like any child, he keeps us on our toes and gives us more grey hairs every day, but he is special and I am one blessed momma.
I’m looking forward to this new season of life as a robotics mom!
I’ll keep you all posted on what happens. Go team C.O.D.E.!