Up here in Maine, we don't have a lot of kids--which is unfortunate, because we have a ton of trees, and from everything I can tell as a mother, kids love to pee on trees.
Anyhoo, we don't have a lot of kids, which means we don't have a ton of Boy Scouts, which means there's almost no one to race against in the Pinewood Derby. To make a long story short, the Pinewood Derby would be ridiculously lame if it wasn't for the fact that every man, woman, child, baby, dog, inmate, and so on and so forth is encouraged to participate.
The morning of the Pinewood Derby, I made the executive decision that it would be bucket loads of fun to build a car. Jared was at work, Maggie was napping, and James and I had nothing but time, initiative, and fabulous ideas.
After a few slight-to-moderate mishaps with the rip saw, we went to the competition with this little beauty in our hands:
That's right. We call it The Penguin Racer.
It's red, it's shiny, it's decorated with Sharpie marker, and you guessed it--The Penguin Racer came in dead last.
I won't mince words here--that car sucked a major heap of sh!t. Not only was it beaten by a crayon, a dragon, and a seriously clunky toilet paper tube contraption, but that good-for-nothing penguin barely made it to the end of track.
That penguin is a bastard.
James did his absolute best to hold in his tears, and so did I. I tried to teach my son that winning isn't everything, but two words into my speech I was like, "Oh screw it. Let's get some brownies--they'll help us stuff down these terrible feelings of inadequacy."
While we were numbing our pain with fatty foods, I asked James, "So what can we do next year to help our car go faster?"
Without hesitation he said, "We can have Daddy build it."
And without hesitation I said, "Good idea. If Daddy can loosen his grip on his fishing rod for six or seven minutes, I'm sure he'd be happy to help you with your car."
It was all very touching.
Luckily, James walked away with the "Great Effort Award."
He's definitely walking in his mother's footsteps. And let me tell you, the path is lined with all kinds of sportsmanship trophies, citizenship certificates, participation medals, and various other signs of mediocrity.
But he managed to act pretty thrilled. See?
When we got into the car, I asked what it means to win the "Great Effort Award." He stopped, he thought, and he said, "It means that your car losed, but your tried so hard."
"That's right," I said. "It also means that your toy penguin is a bastard."