The 2010 Pinewood Derby.
Every year this time rolls around and I dread it. It's the making of the cars that bugs me. Well, actually, it's the THOUGHT of making the cars that turns me off. All that sanding & painting & putting on the weights. Knothanksbye.
But then, just like with my Christmas decorations, once we get started then it's game on.
The contenders. In his final Pinewood Derby... JBird "Lightening" Anderson:
And, in his first Pinewood Derby....Tbone "Thunder" Anderson:
On the drive over to the church I could feel that familiar frenzied feeling creeping in. I kept telling myself it was no big deal. It was just for fun. And lots of other lies. It didn't work. I was on edge. Then walking into the church gym and seeing the track all set up and everyone running around either adding or removing weight to their cars didn't help either.
Since JBird had gotten 4th place in his previous two derbies, our worst nightmare was that TBone would win & JBird wouldn't this year. TBone, who is not that competitive and it's his first race, and JBird, who is very competitive and it's his last race. We tried to do their cars exactly the same, but who knows, right?
You can just see the tension in the air.
The winners will be determined after FOUR races. One time down in each track. The winner would be the one with the fastest average time after it was all said and done.
JBird was in the first race.
His car was literally a full car length ahead of all the other cars when they hit the finish line. And I don't mean "hit" figuratively. The track ended at a wall which the cars would smack into (not good). Since JBird's had gotten there so much before the other cars, his bounced into another car's track and blocked it from finishing. The officials said they needed to race again.
Gty and I were giving each other looks that denoted swear words (in our own silent language). They had the times off the screen so fast that we didn't even get a chance to see what JBird had gotten.
See? My anxiety was not for nothin'!
But we weren't too worried. JBird's car was sooooo much faster than the others that it wouldn't be too big of a deal.
So, they race again.
This time JBird's car comes in third.
You heard me right. THIRD.
I'm guessing his little wreck screwed up a wheel or something? We don't know. But again, the look exchanging swear words are flying. JBird is being a good sport. Keeping it together. Doing much better than Gty & I. Gty says something to the poor scout lady like "Hey, is there any way we can find out what JBird's first time was and keep that? This doesn't seem fair." She claims it can't be done and as Gty walks away (not angrily) I hear her say to another leader "And so the tension begins."
Ok, fine. We take some deep breaths and begin lying to each other and ourselves again. No need to make a scene.
Tbone races a couple of races later and his car is exceedingly fast. I dare say, faster than JBird's first run. As a matter of fact, he now holds the new speed record. My smile returns. This is the beauty of having more than one kid/car. All your hopes & dreams aren't pinned on one.
The races continue and no one is beating TBone's time.
Things are looking good. I'm starting to want it too badly though. Sometimes it's almost better to just not even be close.
TBone's final race down he has a good run but the kid that was breathing down his neck the whole time finally beat him and, sadly, broke his record he had held the entire time!
But this kid could NOT have been happier with 2nd Place.
And JBird was happy for him. A little disappointed with his 5th place finish (other peeps, 3rd and 4th placers specifically, were re-graphiting their cars between races. Major no-no. I don't wanna say that was the difference for Jbird not placing, but it was) but super happy for TBone. JBird has a gazillion trophies. This is TBone's first in anything.
You know how when a team wins the Super Bowl and they ask "What are you going to do now?" and they go "I'm going to Disneyland!"
Well, we asked TBone what he was going to do now and he said "I wanna go call my two grandpas!"
You've never heard a cuter conversation. He described it all in great detail to each of them. Then we hear him describing his trophy in detail... "and then, there's like a base and it goes up like a pole thingy, and it's red white and blue with cars on it and then, at the top...."
He was giddy and couldn't stop talking about it or stop looking at his trophy until he fell asleep.
We realized later that this was our worst nightmare (we thought) but actually, this is what needed to happen. Tbone needed this more than JBird. Srsly. We were all grinning fools the rest of the night.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Mostly the best though.