Pinewood Derby

It’s pinewood derby time and my turn to participate in the ritual of deciding how much work I should let Sam do on his own and how much work I should do so that we can do well in the race. Fortunately for me, Sam didn’t have much patience for sanding and balancing and those type of tasks so after letting him work on the car until he was bored with it there was plenty of work left for me to do. Unfortunately for Sam, I’m not the handiest guy when it comes to tools so my efforts on the car didn’t really help our chances of winning all that much.

Sam painted it himself

When I asked Sam what color he wanted to paint it, his response was “blue”. Naturally. He also wanted to put a cool BYU logo on it but we were running out of time and I couldn’t find a good looking sticker so he ended up having to do the paint it on himself.

Presenting his car

I remember Pinewood Derby from when I was a boy: the celebration of those who won the Pinewood derby and the tears of those who didn’t. These days, the thought of any boy suffering tears of defeat causes sensitive people to swoon and faint and so we do an “everyone gets an award” cop-out. Thus, while Sam didn’t win anything because of the speed of his car, he won a “most blue” certificate or something like that. Ugh. Sorry if you’re one of the swooners and fainters, but I really don’t like the “everyone is a winner” mentality. The world is a tough place and I don’t feel the need to shelter kids from certain tough lessons in life. As The Stranger from The Big Lebowski says, “Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you”. Learning hard lessons as a boy is what life is all about and I sometimes wonder if we’re not making the world too soft and bubble-wrapped for our “precious little angels”.

He didn't win but it was still fun

Anyway, Sam had fun after the race just playing with his car on the track. I had fun watching Sam and watching the other parents until I had to leave and go to class. Of course, after doing Pinewood Derby once I learned what engineering mistakes Sand and I made. Hopefully we get another chance to correct some of those mistakes next time and maybe get a real award instead of “most blue”.

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