For any of you other parents out there who have school age sons in Boy Scouts, you are likely familiarwith what has been going on the last month or so, culminating in what is, in this house, a very big day. THE PINEWOOD DERBY. Now, for those who are not aware of what this is, every year, the scouts are given a block of wood, some strict guidelines, and a race date. They are to turn that block of wood into a sleek racing machine capable of winning not only a race, but any of a number of additional "token" awards...ie Most Humorous, Best Paint, etc etc etc.
Well, in this house, it is my husband who gets carried away with the race...I mean...to the EXTREME. This year, we had 3 cars entered. THREE. You see, besides the race that the Boy Scout himself enters, there is often a family race. So, we had to have a car for my daughter AND my husband to each race. The problem is, my husband becomes so ultra absorbed in this whole process, and so focused on winning, that I actually think he has lost track of what the whole process is ideally about, and has removed a good deal of the fun of it all for my son. Sure, he will profess his allegiance to doing all this hard work for my son, and complain about all the time he has to (has to??) spend on the car(s) (3 plus weeks....others we know spent 3 days max) but when he starts talking about HIS cars and HIS race (I am sure it was just a slip of the tongue), and he has pretty much put down any of my sons ideas for the cars construction, well, I have my own opinion who he was doing all the hard work for. And when it gets to the point of yelling and screaming and swearing.....well that is just getting out of hand.
Anyway...I am not really sure where I was going with this. My son ended up taking first place, and has to go on to the next level. He got a big shiny trophy, and was the envy of all the other scouts and their dads. My daughter took first place, and my husband second, in the family race. So my family pretty much monopolized the day. My son was thrilled he won the big trophy, and my husband was beside himself with pride in his work. In HIS work. And me? I told them I did not feel we should do any more Pine Wood derby races, because I think the whole point of it was missed, at least by my husband. And to me, that makes it not worth it. Not worth it because I think that if father and son had worked together on the car(s), side by side, with my son taking the lead, as it should be...well....he would still have a smile on his face, even if they had lost. And the smile would last a lot longer. And he also would have gained a lot more than just a big shiny trophy.