Today we went to Dave’s nephews’ Pinewood Derby Race at their local church. Dave’s brother-in-law, who’s one of the scout leaders, always goes all out for the derby, and spends hours creating the cars with his sons. This year both of the boys wanted Transformers themed cars, so J did Bumblebee, while Z (who is too young to race, but gets a car anyway) did Optimus Prime. While J’s car came in a consistent third, he did win an award for best paint job!
Last year, J’s car was actually a military helicopter with spinning propellers; the year before that, it was the Titanic: three smoke stacks, 46 tiny drilled porthole windows. I love that their Dad never pushes back, but just goes with their ideas completely. Last year, I even got to help, painting the windows on J’s helicopter, and a dog behind the steering wheel on Z’s truck.
I used to love doing the Pinewood Derby when I was in scouts. My dad was pretty similar to Dave’s brother in law, in that he would bust out the power tools to help me bring my designs to life, and probably brought a level of science to the table that was appreciated, if not fully grasped. I had a slick little car that I designed with my dad painted in the Charlotte Hornet’s team colors, and that was helmed by a Lego guy (sans legs) hot glued in the cockpit.
One of the great things that happened tonight, though, was after the trophy ceremony, with one of the scouts being awarded for coming in first place in all heats, they opened up the racing to all the younger siblings, older scouts, and parents. Up walks this seven year old girl, Emma — I mean, the complete picture: pink shirt, barrettes clipped on each side of her hair, high-water jeans — with a clunky, shaved down, but otherwise formless rectangle of wood with four wheel bolted on named “Crystal.” And she just proceeds to mop. the. floorwith absolutely everyone, including the first place winning car, race after race after race! She was thrilled, and kept walking around with her car held aloft in front of her, like it was a holy relic. It was awesome.