Sunday, January 29, 2012

Race cars, a headache, and what makes a winner

            We spent most of the day Saturday at the Pinewood Derby for my sons’ cub scouts pack this past weekend.   The Pinewood Derby is a pretty big deal in cub scouts and is a very big deal in my house.  My boys designed their cars after looking at thousands of design ideas online and worked very hard on the cars, eagerly anticipating the race.   My older son, in particular, was hoping for a win and designed his car with speed and victory in mind.   Just in case his wasn’t the fastest car, he made the design fun and original, in the hopes of winning for that if nothing else.

The "ice cream sandwich car" and the "blue ninja bullet"
             The day of the race started early with check-ins and weigh-ins and last minute adjustments.  Then we grabbed the best seats we could find to watch the races.   Unfortunately, despite our careful research and planning, neither of my boys made it past the first heats.  Their cars were both done racing by about 10:30 a.m.  

The day was far from over though and with trophies for all coming at the end of the day, we stayed for lunch and then to watch the final heats so we’d be there for the ever important award ceremony.  The whole time I was suffering from a migraine headache.  I did my best to smile my way through the day massaging my temples and trying to ignore my throbbing head.  Finally, with only about 10 awards to go I decided I really had to go home and take something for my aching head.  We had come in two different cars so I left in one car while Tim stayed with the boys till the bitter end.  

I was there for the WHOLE DAY, leaving with only a few minutes left and somehow, I missed the best part!  After I’d driven off in search of Tylenol and a few minutes of quiet, they awarded the cub scout who displayed the best sportsmanship of the day.  It was considered the best award of the day (which is why it was awarded last), because it went to the boy who had the best attitude.   The boy who showed the true spirit of cub scouts by putting the feelings of his friends above the thrill of victory and who focused more on enjoying the experience of the race and the opportunity to do his best than on the importance of being the fastest.   

My son, the older one who was so careful about planning every little detail of his car so he would have a good chance at winning it all, ended up getting the most important award of the day even though his car was comparatively slow and unimpressive on the race track.
He won for being the best sportsman!  I could not believe it when I heard, and I especially could not believe I wasn’t there to see him receive his big trophy.  The Pinewood Derby may not really be as big a deal as my boys believe it to be, but it turned out to be a great experience for both my sons.  And, I must admit, I am pretty proud of them both.

My younger son's car and award

My older son's car and awards


  1. Kari,

    This is such a great story! Congratulations to your son. I'm sorry you didn't get to see him receive his award. I guess you'd never have left if you had any idea he was going to get the best award of all. Sometimes our children really surprise us. I wonder why we don't always see what is obvious to others. Anyway, I hope your husband took lots of photos!

    God bless!

  2. Sue, you know the worst part? I took the camera when I left!!!! I just did not think there was anything left to photograph! I took pictures of our son with the trophy at home but, of course, that is not quite the same. You are so right about our children surprising us!

    :) Kari



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