Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pinewood Derby

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get an idea from my oldest son Austin of what type of pinewood derby car he'd like to build. We looked on the Internet for ideas and saw an abundance of different car designs. There was one shaped like a hot dog, another one like a pencil and so forth. I asked him if he liked any of the designs. He said, "No Dad, I don't really care what it looks like...... I just want to win.....I want the trophy."

Wow! Nothing like a little bit of pressure to put on the old man. I mean, I learned a trick or two from my Dad when I was a cub scout and we built some pretty fast cars back in the day, but that was 25+ years ago (yikes!! I'm getting old).

Well, I'm happy to report that we (I mean Austin) did not disappoint. His car won every heat. It really wasn't even close. What can I say, it was a blast to win. Austin was beaming ear to ear the whole night. Okay, I admit, I was beaming ear to ear too.

Here's a pic of the cars we built. The pink one is Austin's and the purple is mine (actually now, my younger son Isaac officially has title to it as I "gave" it to him).

You're wondering why two cars? Since I'm a den leader, I had the opportunity to build a car too. For the most part, I used my car as the "guinea pig" or test car. For each step of the build process, I'd do the work on my car first and let Austin watch. Then, he'd work on his car. Believe me, we worked together hard and pulled out all the stops to build the fastest car. On the wheels and axles alone, we spent probably two hours grinding and sanding and polishing until late at night.

My pet peeve is when it's assumed that I built the car and that's why it won. Sure, I was very influential and involved in the build, but Austin was there at my side participating in every step of the process, including the initial design discussions, driving around 1/2 of last Saturday together to purchase the supplies we needed, measuring, marking, sanding, painting, grinding, straightening and baking (yes, we did bake and it's a secret that I won't reveal....sorry).

Anyhow, we both really enjoyed the time we spent together building the car, learning together and to see the hard work pay off with a win was very rewarding. Sometimes in life hard work doesn't always directly translate into a victory, but when it does, how sweet it is!

(no trophy, but Austin wasn't complaining about the 1st place cert.)

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