This weekend I get to take off my potter’s hat, leave behind my clay and molds, and become immersed in the world of little boys. That’s because this year I’m a Cub Scout Den Leader, and this weekend is the Pinewood Derby.
My husband has been a Den Leader for years now, and my older son is a veteran racer. But this is my first year. I don’t have the same skills to bring to the making of little wooden cars that my husband (physicist, son of a carpenter) does. Somehow knowing whether a horse is a splash overo or a sabino, and which underglaze can hold up to multiple firings just doesn’t translate well. But I have a good digital scale and a signmaking father! And I bake well. So we’ll be under the weight limit, ready to cheer for each other, and well-fed. (Nothing says, “It’s okay, you’ll win the next race” like a double-chocolate brownie!)
And my youngest son did have his father to help him make his own car. I’m not sure if you can tell with it in pieces there in the photo, but it was made to look like a paper airplane. With any luck, it will all stay together. I keep having visions of the airplane part flying off the base the first time it hits the bottom of the track!
So I’ll be bringing tissues, too, in case anyone melts down. As anyone who has had even a passing involvement in scouting can tell you, the Pinewood Derby is a Big Deal. Not just for the kids, but the fathers. Oh my goodness, but you haven’t seen anyone try to do-over their childhood like a man who wants his son to win the Pinewood Derby! I may well die of testosterone poisoning before the weekend is through.