This past week was the week everything happened: I was invited to be featured on a closing night panel at a women’s entrepreneurship conference where I’d received much support, inspiration, and encouragement previously; I was supposed to speak on another panel at a different conference with a lot of friends I don’t get to see often in person (and which I had been looking forward to); Hiro Protagonist’s Team Archimedes competed at the State Destination Imagination tournament in San Diego; his team had the tremendous honor of having lunch with the school principal, who had traveled 2.5 hours to see her third (and fifth) graders perform; and my son had a blast with his 4 Team Archimedes buddies and learned what it is to compete.
They came in 10th out of 15 top elementary school teams across the state. They did the best Instant Challenge I have ever seen them do — incredible teamwork. They were filled with (unsubstantiated) hope to go to Globals and were disappointed when they realized they would not be going. They had a chance to view their skit objectively and realistically in light of the other teams who competed. They held their own against 5th graders in some of the categories, fell short in others.
I missed the conference and regretted having to turn down the wonderful invitation. I loved being invited. I couldn’t be on the panel at the other conference either; Team Archimedes needed their coach. I rode their rollercoaster, I was thrilled when they rocked the Instant Challenge, and I knew when they saw the other teams I’d have to comfort them and wipe away their tears during the award ceremonies. It would be up to them if they wanted to work ten times harder and come back next year. What a win — I was delighted my son’s school principal will be incorporating DI techniques (project-based or inquiry-based STEAM learning) in the school day and every week, which is why I’d originally started doing DI as an extracurricular with my son.
Tonight I explained to Hiro Protagonist that there would be DI all the time next year in 4th grade. He listened to me sleepily. It was right before bedtime, when all the important things get said. Quietly.
“You can still do a team and compete, or you can do what they do at the school, either one is fine.”
“I want to do DI [compete] next year, mom.”
“What if it’s harder? Way harder?” I whispered.
“Then it’s harder,” he said.
“‘Come at me, bro’?” I asked him.
“Come get some,” he responded.
So there it is. You don’t always get what you want. But if you try real hard, sometimes, you get what you need.