Pinewood Derby Memory – Liam’s Car

I joined Cub Scouts with my stepson, Liam, last year. He was seven years old and I was the Den Leader. The den shrunk over the winter and there were only 3 boys who attended meetings. I was feeling mighty low. I was not a Cub Scout when I was young but wanted to be more involved with some fun stuff with my stepson.
We received a pinewood derby kit from Santa at the Christmas pack meeting. I did not do any research and knew nothing about pinewood derby racing. I admit that I did not even know the date of the race. There was a Pinewood work day scheduled, but it was canceled due to 30 degree rainy weather.
I went to our den meeting and information was given about the race. It was the following Saturday! I told my son that given the short notice we would not be participating in the derby. Normally, he talks a lot and is very animated, but when I gave him the news he was very sullen. I found out later that he really wanted to enter the race but never had the opportunity.
I felt bad that night. I told my wife, and she said, “You work really hard; don’t worry about it.”
The next morning she said, “Honey don’t worry about the derby; I took care of it.”
I said, “How.”
She said, “eBay.”
I was driven from that moment on. I took off three days from work and every day after school Liam sanded the car and I showed him how to use spray paint.
When the eBay car showed up; it was really slick compared to the one we made.
We went to the weigh-in and had both cars weighed. The eBay car weighed 4.94 ounces, the one we made was exactly 5 ounces. Liam had no idea that his Mom had bought an eBay car.
I said, “Well Liam, which one do you want to race — the car we slaved over or the one the ‘Pinewood Fairy’ brought?”
He picked the car we made. When I asked him why, this very logical boy said, “Because it weighs more.”
Liam’s car ended up taking second place in the pack! The eBay car was not wasted. I entered the Leaders and Cheaters race and blew away every car we ran against. It was the fastest car in the pack and would have won the overall event. But, that doesn’t matter. What’s really important is that we did our best on Liam’s car. In our minds, it was the real winner.
From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 14
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