Author's Note: I hope you enjoy the story. Please leave criticism and feedback. I hope to make an enjoyable story that captures the mood and atmosphere of Meet the Robinsons while exploring the history of the lovable family of the future. I now present to you:
Keep Moving Backward
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He told himself he would get rid of the name Lewis as a symbol of his fresh start, but he found himself oddly attached to his old name. It was the one Mildred gave him on the night she found him on the orphanage's door step. When alone, he called himself Lewis. With his newly acquired family, he preferred his new name Cornelius.
So many wonderful things happened since he was adopted. He had his own room, his own lab, and his own zany, loving parents. He was taught how to be a "Robinson".
Don't be afraid to be yourself…
Never be afraid of failure or else you'll never succeed…
Learn from your mistakes…
These new lessons were a breath of fresh air compared to his schooling. In fact, he was taken out of the elementary school and put into a more challenging independent study. If he successfully completed his studies, he would start college in two years. A positive benefit of independent study was that he had more free time to work on his own projects. Lewis no longer had to be forced to learn at the snail's pace of his peers.
He softly pressed the end of his pencil into his lips as he thought about his next invention. His thoughts were interrupted by an excited Bud.
"Bake them' cookies, Lucille!"
He could hear his new parents downstairs having one of their famous "cookie baking" sessions. The two would dance to music as they waited for their cookies to be finished. It was their way of "burning off their cake and eating it too". As he sensed an intimate moment was taking place between them, he stayed upstairs in his lab to give them privacy. The couple were still adjusting to life with their new son, and he understood they sometimes needed their alone time.
Lewis made a few slight adjustments to his newest invention he was working on; the Mini-Carl. He was inspired by their elegance when they served the Robinson family and himself spaghetti; back when Wilbur whisked him away to the future. The young inventor decided it would be easier and more cost effective to create one of the miniature Carl's before building the actual Carl. The blonde wired up the circuit board and tightened up the bolts of his new robot. When he turned on the power, the miniature Carl took two steps forward…and then seemed to become stuck.
Sparks began to emit from the tiny robot and the boy ducked for cover as the robot's sparks began to jump dangerously closer to him. A couple minutes passed when he no longer heard the mechanical and electrical mayhem above him. He crawled out from under his desk to assess the damage. He saw his whole work station was in ruins. The Mini-Carl he worked so hard on was burned to a crisp.
Lewis screwed up again. This was the third prototype to fail. He threw his wrench in frustration and sighed. Those same self-doubts were still plaguing him. What if seeing the future was all a dream? What if it never happened? When he thought about it, time travel was still only a theoretical idea. And it violated everything the scientific community accepted. And how could he, with no experience, possibly been able to fix the broken time machine fast enough to save his life? He looked up above at the bright blue skies above the expansive windows of his laboratory as if looking for a sign.
At least Wilbur could visit me.
Lewis went in his chair and slumped. He just could not invent the way he used to. All these doubts about his abilities and the future were going to drive him crazy until there was some resolution.
Keep Moving Forward….
Remembering that motto, he was able to gather enough resolve to place himself back at his disheveled work desk. He looked at his designs of the Mini-Carl to see what the possible problem might have been. He chewed his pencil as he thought of what edits to make next. It would be the third pencil he went through this Saturday morning.
Lewis would never admit it, but he sometimes was too proud to seek advice and other people's perspectives. He supposed it was because he was so used to being more knowledgeable and intelligent about life than most adults. Should he ask Lucille and Bud for advice? Would they even know what to tell him?
He heard the two exclaim as their dance ended the exact same time the timer for the oven went off. A few seconds later, Lewis could smell the aroma of the cookies.
"Cornelius, cookies! Come down and get some!" Lucille called.
"Okay, mom." Lewis took the opportunity to take a break. Possibly, a break would clear his head. Besides, the young genius was beginning to get hungry. He went downstairs and found the duo already had a plate ready for him.
"You've been up there all day, did ya' invent something special?" Bud asked him.
Lucille raised her hand. "Oooooh, I bet it's something special. Maybe a battery powered by piezoelectricity? Automatic sandwich maker? Oh, oh, oh! Solving the famous P Equals NP!"
"No, I wasn't able to get anything accomplished today."
The boy looked down at the table in guilt. He couldn't even look them in the eye. He felt he failed them.
Lucille and Bud looked at each other.
"Oh," Lucille said and put her hand in front of her face. She always did that when she was concerned or worried. Bud reacted in a similar matter. Lewis looked up at his two new parents. Both were staring directly toward him. He was the sole focus of their attention.
"Sweetie, I think I and Bud know exactly what you are going through. Do you feel you doubting yourself? Or do you feel like you never can top what you did at the fair?"
"Sort of," Lewis looked down at his plate of cookies. He noticed he didn't touch a single cookie yet, "but…"
"You can tell us, son." Bud smiled at him, "We're listening."
"I kind of feel the only reason I was adopted because I did well at the science fair. I'm afraid if I don't keep inventing these things that I will be given up. And, and…"
At that instant both his parents embraced him. The pain and fair of being given up and rejected was brought to the surface. And could they blame him for such thoughts? At the orphanage, this happened to him so many times before. Their beautiful, ingenious child expected himself to be sent back if he didn't keep inventing. It didn't occur to the child that people would want him because of who he was and not what he created. He did not seem to understand what unconditional love was, because he was never given it. Upon realizing this, Lucille hugged him even tighter. She could only imagine.
"We would never give you up. Even if you don't invent another single thing in your lifetime. We love you so much. You are ours forever."
"We weirdos have to stick together," Bud winked at him.
Lewis let himself melt in his parent's group hug. He never wanted to let them go, never wanted them to let go of him. If he could only have one wish, it would be for this moment of warmth to last forever. To know he was loved just for himself gave him a newfound comfort beyond words. Lewis's stomach growled and he felt Bud and Lucille's grip loosen.
"Better eat those cookies mister." Bud said.