I never really dug into quite how cool Jonah’s solar car race the other day, but it was super-duper cool. And, I’m not just saying that because I’m a 100% biased proud mother having gotten to witness him and his partner win the entire thing…but, I suppose that is a piece of the puzzle that I should include to maintain at least a bottom level of reader trust.
What was so cool about the way the event culminated for these two is the shock factor of how the day started and, ultimately, unrolled in front of our eyes.
When Jonah and Chad got to school that morning and tested out their solar car, it wasn’t working.
Their car wouldn’t move.
Now, I’m no engineer…obviously…but, if I were them, I would’ve seriously doubted whether we should even bother showing up for the race. I mean, if your car doesn’t work, what’s the point in being humiliated in front of the rest of your 8th grade class (which is not most people’s strongest and most confident period of their life, to begin with)?
They decided to rally and head over to the tennis courts with everyone else, though, and try to make some magic happen.
When they got there, their car started working! Not great, but it was at least moving.
The first race kicked off, and their car was the slowest out of the gates. But, one by one each of the other cars started dropping out for different reasons: one just stopped, one had tires that kept spinning in place, one came off it’s line and veered off course. Jonah and Chad’s car was the only one that moved forward, slow and steady…and, won that heat!
We couldn’t believe it. In all honesty, I thought I was going to be in and out of there in 15 minutes.
The next race, their car actually took off strong…stronger than anyone’s. But, as we watched it, we noticed another car that had obviously come off it’s line and was cutting straight across the court…and, slammed STRAIGHT into their car, taking it completely out of contention in that race. I was losing my MIND because they were clearly going to win that race.
After the initial shock of what had happened had wore off, Jonah looked over at me as if to say, “What do I do!?!” I motioned for him to go say something to his teachers and challenge the results of the race. I saw him go straight over and talk to them, wait on the side to see what they decided, then I heard the teachers announce that he and Chad’s car won the race by default! They were going onto the next round!
But, not until after the 45 minute lunch break. At this point, I was already there for an extra hour longer than I thought I was going to be…but, I was loving every second of it.
The very, VERY best part of the entire day, though, happened during the lunch break. After all of the kids took a quick swing by the BBQ lunch being served right next to the courts, the entire class went over to a net across the court and started dancing and playing handball. They were having fun and enjoying the quick time off.
Jonah and Chad, however, weren’t there. Because they were on a different tennis court…working on making their car faster. Just the two of them. It was AWESOME. Like, the awesomest.
Yes, they won the whole thing. And, yes, I was so irrationally proud…and, loud…and, humiliating for both of our entire families. But, watching him, this 14 year old boy who…I don’t know about Chad, but definitely Jonah…has had trouble showing signs of being motivated or driven in almost anything school-related, work when everyone else was playing? That was special, and something I’m not sure I will ever forget in my whole life.
Having said that, it does say a lot about things like having faith and hope in things that are seemingly destined for failure. It does say a lot about persistence and commitment to a task and following through with something you started, even when you feel like you’ve done something ‘good enough’.
And, it does say everything about never giving up because whether you think it has to do with luck or not, it’s like the sign says that Ben’s mom gave us for Christmas one year:
“The HARD WORK puts you where the GOOD LUCK can find you.”