1.31.2009

All Things Down and Derby.

On Saturday, it was once again time for that annual Cub Scout tradition - the Pinewood Derby. For you non-Scouting folks or for those of you who were scarred in your youth by this process and have chosen to forget the entire ordeal, here's the refresher.

Approximately a month in advance of the Derby, each scout is handed literally a block of wood out of which they are supposed to create their very own racing car. This involves sawing, sanding, painting, careful application of additional weights and wheels.

If you are like most parents, it also involves extensive internet research, at least three trips to the craft store and one trip to Home Depot. Some parents, get carried away. We try to straddle that fine line between overdoing it and being a total embarrassment.

This year, Alex wanted an Indiana Jones jeep. For a second I contemplated getting the actual design plans from the movie. In a moment of clarity, we decided to just let him do it. And you know what? It seems that whenever we let go, things turn out alright. He designed it, sawed it, sanded it and painted it. I printed out the stickers. He stuck them on. He even added authentic looking mud around the wheels and did it better than Ken and I ever could. See the little fist pump in the picture below?

He wasn't sure if he'd get a trophy or just the Hey-You-Participated medal, so he tried to peek while the trophies were being handed out. Little Dude, you need to know, patience is a virtue. It seems that sometimes just as we've learned one life lesson, another one miraculously queues up for us.

But sure enough, he got second place. And we were all amazed. He did it on his own. See what I mean - another life lesson understood.

Sometimes, it's best to let things unfold naturally and not try to manipulate them into what seems like the right thing to do at the time.

Sometimes it's best to just let things be. That is a very hard lesson to learn. I'm still in the process of grasping it. Wishing you a moment where you can apply that lesson - let things be, dang it. They may just turn out better than you expected.

3 comments:

Ladybug said...

Tell Alex (although he doesn't know me) CONGRATULATIONS! How exciting is that!! BTW, this is a first of many, many moments where you have to let of the rope and let them find their way!

Freeman Family said...

I want to control everything also, I want to protect from being hurt because if I do against a bunch of kids they're sure to win(yeah right,my kids are way more creative!) GREAT JOB ALEX!!

katarinas mama said...

Oh Ladybug Cheryl, don't I know it!! And he is so happy that Mom's Friends From Work remember him. Dear me, you held him when he was like 3 weeks old. I'll never forget how sweet you were to come over!!

And Kath, I know to control = to protect in my brain. I've had to short circuit that logic loop. It's so hard.

He's been so happy because in the last two years, he hadn't even placed. So it's doubly gratifying.