YYYEEEESSSS!!!!! I am so excited! Our very own Jack Dodd won FIRST PLACE in the Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby tonight! His little car went the equivalent of 201.6 miles per hour! He was over the moon with happiness. He has been working on his car with the help of our next door neighbor, Mark, and Mark's sons, Abe and Ben (who are Regan's and Jack's ages respectively). As an aside, Mark's family and my family share a nanny, a snowblower, sometimes a minivan, and all manner of tupperware, glassware, sippy-cups and toys. Our kids behave like siblings, so it is not so surprising that Jack sometimes refers to Mark and his wife, Jennifer, as his "stepdad" and "stepmom." Mark has embraced the role and treats Jack as well as he treats his own sons--which I know is something easier said than done.
So, Mark worked with all three boys to sand and carve and paint and level their cars and he must have the magic touch because not only did Jack win first prize, but Abe won third and Ben won fourth--out of about thirty kids. Mark felt particularly vindicated because he was actually disqualified from racing in the Pinewood Derby when he was in Boy Scouts due to a minor technical infraction of the design specifications. He was completely dejected and hoped that as he helped our sons he wouldn't taint them with this curse. Well, talk about your comebacks! All three boys placed in the Top Five!
Thank God for Mark because if it had been up to me, Jack would have been racing an unpainted, unsanded square block with no wheels--my woodworking prowess is non-existent. But, Mark knew all the rules and knew that the winning car would require a simple design that kept all the weight in the back. Well, his formula worked like a dream and Jack was the unlikely beneficiary of Mark's benevolence and skill.
When they announced Jack's name he couldn't stop smiling and even I teared up. I was amazed that as a mother (and one who contributed nothing to the effort) it would mean that much to me, but all I could think of was how much Jack needed an emotional boost and how happy this would make him. Jack has had a hard time missing Jeff recently, and something like this will give him something happy to dwell on for a change. I recently showed Jack a picture of Jeff's old pinewood derby race car--painted blue with a white racing stripe--sitting on top of a blue ribbon. Jack was impressed, but was even more impressed when he won his own trophy. All night, he was hoping just to win a trophy--he never imagined he would win First Place! The trophy is big and ornate and he spent most of the evening polishing it and protecting it from admirers. However, he generously told us we could touch his hand or the cloth he used to buff the trophy in lieu of touching the actual trophy itself. It is now prominently displayed on his bookshelf headboard in his bedroom. I know he will sleep well tonight and I know that I witnessed him make a happy memory that will be with him for the rest of his life
Sweet Dreams my Beautiful Boy, you deserve them!