Parenting lessons at the Pinewood derby
The pinewood derby cars have now collected dust in the "favorite" things box.
In the blink of an eye, the brightly painted wooden cars have now taken the back seat to drivers licenses, tolo, SAT's and discussions about sexting.
(take a trip with me down memory lane, as once again the Strehle family paints a picture on how NOT to parent)
Twin B was coming off of his 2nd consecutive pinewood derby blue ribbon season. He was arrogant and haughty in his pinewood derby prowess.
Twin A was coming off of his 2nd consecutive pinewood derby NO-ribbon season. He was seemingly unfazed.. maybe a little bit bothered about his lack of derby prowess.. but as per his usual easy going nature, taking it all in stride, like the easy going Twin A he is.
In step Mom and Dad (and a friend who we won't name to protect his identity)
**Lesson #1-It's most likely one of the most acute pains you will ever feel, at least it has been for me, watching your child suffer, physically, emotionally and well...unjustly is the worst.. or heck even when they deserve it! It still hurts!!! Momma bear is a term for a reason.. and sometimes we wrongly act out thinking we are protecting our wee cub**
Feeling particularly sad for Twin A's seemingly unjust derby situation we knew we had to take matters into our own hands.. Twin B needed to be put in his place! De-THRONED!! It was Twin A's time to shine.. plus it just was NOT FAIR!! Could Twin A's car beat Twin B's car just ONCE?! Was that too much to ask??
**Lesson #2-Um.. life is not fair.. EVER and trying to manipulate people, situations is dishonest and wrong. Yes I'm talking to us.. the coach/parent that rigs things in favor of your child.. you are doing him/her ZERO favors. Yes we ALL want what is best for our child.. but sometimes it turns out its more about our perception of what is best.. or even worse, its more about us.**
Race night!! A packed room full of pre-pubescent boys! The universal smell of pinewood derbies across the nation..
Now it just so happened my hubby had volunteered to help run the race.. and he had a plan.. maybe, just maybe if him and friend were to accidently oh say.. gently tweak a wheel on Twin B's car.. well maybe it was just going to slow it down enough for 2nd place.. 3rd? Not placing at all?? Just a little bit, not full on sabotage or anything.
**Lesson #3-Wrong is wrong.. but the good thing about messing up and doing something wrong is God can still work despite our error.. Yes we have the choice, but thankfully God still speaks in our failures.
Cars lined up for the first heat...
Twin B takes the race by a long-shot.
Then the next race, and the next.. then even after another "adjustment" before the final race...
Took the whole dang thing. Even going on to the district competition and placing in the top 3.
It was like he was meant to win or something.. and nothing we could do would stop it. Despite our best efforts to ensure what we thought was right, just and fair.. well God apparently had his own plan.
I have this theory on being a parent...
The moment you birth that beautiful chubby cherub is the very moment you have to start slowly letting go.. We grasp those wee fingers and toes so tightly.. know to our core that our very existence as a human has been changed forever.. At that moment we can't possibly imagine letting that hand go EVER. Our Maker is very gracious those first few years.. We trick ourselves into thinking those "milestones" of growing up have something to do with us, that first step might have been to us, but too soon those steps move past us.... and the crazy thing is.. that is how it was designed to be.
Parenting is a long lesson in letting go, having faith and finding the very careful balance between the two.
Fast forward a few years, Twin B has now had his fair share of losses. Some were easy, some well not so much.
And news flash.. Despite my best efforts, most of them had nothing to do with me.