Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roadschooling: The Results are In!

After several days of adventure after adventure the true reason why we traveled so many hours was upon us...competition day!  Nerves were running high and time was tight but what is a better stress release than decorating a car?  Grace was off on her own, having spent two nights at the Hampton Inn sleeping in a suite with her team.  I could do a whole post (and probably will!) counting the ways Grace grew from this trip...

This moment of artistic expression was for Lilah’s team, the Crazed Carrots.  My car was transformed into a moving expression of team loyalty.  It was unique, colorful, creative and almost permanent!
I loved driving it.  As we drove home along I81 through Virginia and Pennsylvania, we were the recipients of numerous waves, beeps, and smiles.  Now that we are home, and have been for four days, we are still attempting to remove the paint!  I truly hope the children had the time of their lives because we will never ever do this again!
After departing the hotel, we caravaned into Knoxville with Carrots who had too much energy to sit still.  There was the inspection of the prop room, which stored the props for their performance, like garbage island, sharks, bloody bits, and their team presentation board.  There was last minute practicing and soothing of nerves.
I don’t know whose nerves were worse, the children’s or mine.  Back in March,at the State Tournament, I was the Instant Challenge Timekeeper.  I was sequestered in a conference room at the college and I did not have the opportunity to see either of my children compete.  Imagine my dismay when I learned that in a global tournament, where 1200 teams had to be fit into time slots over the course of 3 days, that my two teams were scheduled to compete 20 minutes apart in two different buildings on campus!  Originally my plan was to stay with Lilah and send Greg to Grace’s performance.  Then I got the phone call that Grace was distraught and desperately wanted me.  What to do...what to do?  Well... what any Mama would do.....I ran.  Ran down the hill, in flip flop Birkenstocks, in 90+ degree heat, with a pulled, but most likely torn glute muscle (the result of water skiing earlier in the week), panting, puffing and crying.  The stress was just too much.  I broke under the pressure.

Greg met me at the conference center, escorted my inside, calmed me down, and then he took off running to where I came from, Lilah’s performance.  I stayed and watched Grace’s team give the Appraisers their all.

With the help of two Dads (to whom I am eternally grateful), the second the applause died out, we began to run.  We ran to the parking lot next door.  I was just a hot mess of a Mama.  The only things that kept me sane were the realization that Grace just did the best job she could, and that I have really really great friends.  I was whisked away back up the hill and deposited at the door to Lilah’s performance.  A switcheroo was requested and a team from Texas was placed in front of Lilah’s team buying me just enough time to make it to both girls competitions.  Crisis averted.
Lilah’s team rocked their competition.  They helped one another without asking.  They comforted one another when necessary.  They prompted when needed and spoke with clarity and confidence.  They owned their project.  I cannot say with conviction that every team at Global Finals was 100% unassisted.  Some projects were very, very polished.  We may not have had flashing fairy lights, or clever double entendres, but we had kids with heart.  They stole mine.  By the end of the performance I was crying again.  Not because of my throbbing butt, or the possibility of heat stroke, but because I was damn proud of my girls.  The cost, the travel, the time, the stress, the schedules, the was worth every minute to see my daughters achieve this goal. 

Well done Crazed Carrots who placed 19th out of 43 teams.
Well done Vision Quest who placed 28th out of 48 teams.

We are so very proud of you all!

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