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Getting ready for our first Pinewood Derby Race

by Traci Schumacher on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 12:40pm

My 1st grade son is thoroughly enjoying his year in Cub Scouts, and now is preparing for his first Pinewood Derby Race. Let me just say this whole build-your-own-car thing is completely stressing me out.

I realize, with this being our first year making a car, that my son's chances of winning are pretty slim. We don't have a past experience yet to build upon, and we haven't sought out all the tricks of serious racers. Still, my boy is hoping his car is the fastest. But it'll be fine if he doesn't win as long as he turns in a respectable performance.

My worries are more catastrophic than merely not winning. I'm worried about the car weighing too much and therefore being disqualified. It has to weigh 5.0 ounces or less, and my son just couldn't stop adding the layers of paint. Who knows how much that paint weighs?

What if the wheels fall off? Or they're not aligned properly so the car goes really slow? What if his brother's and sister's cars score a much better time than his? Yes, I know none of these things would be truly life-changing, and would probably even help my son grow in character. But I really want him to have a good experience.

I guess I just want the little guy to be happy with the race. Hmmm... sounds a bit shallow now that it's here in writing. Especially compared with things like character and adaptability and handling adversity. Certainly I want my child to have fun but that should not require everything going just perfectly. It is a worthy, admirable, even vital skill to be able to roll with the punches, turn your lemons into lemonade, make the best of a bad situation, and various other cliches.

So Pinewood Derby, here we come! I will not worry.

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