Thursday, March 6, 2008

Father and Son Project

My son's Cub Scout troop is having their Pine Wood Derby this weekend. This is an event where each scout purchases a "model car kit" that consists of a rectangular block of pine wood, 4 plastic wheels and 4 nails (to hold the wheels on.) The idea is that the scout (with the help of a parent) will work on carving, painting and decorating the block of wood into the shape of a car. The car must meet certain weight requirements and then is raced against other cars on a special track. Big fun.

When I was a child, I actually won a Pine Wood Derby during my first year as a cub scout. However, I recall that my Dad did almost all the work on the car. I watched him work with all the cool power tools and I only got to paint it. So, of course, I started out with the idea that Grant and I would work "together" on his car. After about 10 frustrating minutes with a block of petrified pine, I had already chiseled off to much and I found myself yelling and acting like a madman. I kicked everyone out of the garage, glued the screwed-up block back together and finished the project mostly by myself. It didn't go at all like I wanted it to. I wanted to create a different memory than I had as a kid, but instead of a least being a helpless spectator, I actually may have created a miserable memory for my son. Worse than what I was trying to avoid. Luckily, Jennifer salvaged some of the situation, by letting Grant paint the car and add some racing decals.

Ironically, this all happened last Sunday afternoon only hours after our Small Group discussed Romans 7 and how we often do exactly what we don't want to do. Too bad the hardest block of wood to make a dent in is apparently between my own 2 ears. I'm glad my Heavenly Father is more patient in molding me than I was last weekend.

7 comments:

Martha said...

Another way to look at this experience is that if that is the worst thing you ever do as a parent then you're probably a great Dad. How did the race go?

Rick said...

They've got to have a DS game for this, right?

T and I are heading up to Clemson this weekend for his own school technology competition. I won't get to help much, so taking a couple of books and earbuds and watching him create memories from afar, I suppose.

Jim said...

Ah, I recall a similar experience with my Dad, I believe he did most of the work, and like most other kids, I did the painting and decals. I can't remember how I did, so to keep me from lapsing back into depression, I'll say I didn't finish last.
Anybody remember the rubber band rocket on a string race? Not much different the the pine wood derby.

Kyle said...

After a drunken tirade my dad used to say, "No blood? No problem."

Charlotte said...

Ah yes. The Pinewood Derby. Lots of 40 year old men walking around, mumbling, "must go faster, but how? HOW?!??!!?" and their 9 year old counterparts asking "what's for snack?"

In our first derby experience, we threw a couple of cars together, Ben's dominated and D's lost a wheel. It's a crapshoot, really.

Alan said...

The problem with creating a racecar from wood is that most people just don't have the patience or the tools to do it properly. Everyone knows that a good father would have allowed his 10 year old son to use a band saw, wield some sharp chisels and a 200 RPM belt sander with 100 grit sandpaper. Then as the father, you could have applied the paint and stickers. Don't beat yourself up, Dook. Grant will always remember you tried. More than a lot of Dads would do. Great story which hits close to home.

James said...

So...who won the Pinewood Derby?