Pinewood derby

It's upon us again. N is a pretty sore loser and he loses often. In fact I can't remember a single competition that he has ever won - or even come in 2nd or 3rd place. The heat is on: it is Pinewood Derby Time. Two years in a row he has built very cool, cute cars. It is a team effort, as he can't do much on his own. None of our cars were particularly fast. Two years ago my dad helped design the car - drawing to N's specifications. Last year he had a cool design too. Alas neither won any design awards. Speed both years was a total bust.

The tips I read on the internet offer ideas that are not allowed by our rules or sell how to manuals that we don't want to buy.

How do we help him to succeed? C was born with boundless luck, a strong work ethic and usually wins competitions. N doesn't.

Most people don't win, most of the time. Most of adulthood is a series of disappointments. The dream job you didn't get, the supposed love of your life who chose someone else, the path you didn't take that leaves you wondering "if I had only..."

So if we build up his hopes in yet another car (and spend countless hours drilling, sanding, painting) that slowly glides down the path that other speed-daemons burn past, are we teaching him the useful skills of building something for the experience in itself, good citizenship and dealing with life the way it usually is? Or do we blow it off and boost his confidence in another way?


As I was writing this blog, I just noticed that I have a conflict the night of the derby. My Christmas gift is tickets to something in New York... non-refundable tickets for the exact time of the derby.


So now I have a new lesson to teach my son: his mother's priorities. His derby or her enjoyment? Can I outsource this? What parent could possibly give him the support that we would? Who would wipe his tears if he loses? Who would be just as happy if he were to win? We have no family in the local area to help us out with this type of thing. Tonight I really wish we did!

I am usually very grateful to be a Mom and wouldn't trade it for the world. But this sucks! It's Lose-Lose. I guess some kid's luck is just like that.


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