Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Watching a Friend Win

Collin poses with his den leader and good friend Nathan.

Saying our goodbyes before our "baby" heads on a school trip to the East Coast.  We're clinging to him, while he's desperate to break free:)

I asked Caleb to send me a picture from New York.  This is the photo I received.  I was kinda hoping for a photo of him, but at least I know he is eating!

On Saturday afternoon, Collin and I were sitting in the gymnasium of the local Methodist church.  The crowd was rowdy.  The anxiety was intense.  It was Pinewood Derby, after all, the Super Bowl for elementary age boy scouts.  

In the weeks prior, troop members chiseled wooden blocks down to create fast, visually appealing vehicles.  On Pinewood Derby day, the scouts showcased their work and raced against their friends. 

In an effort to be transparent, Collin touched his race car a total of zero times.  A certain 40-year-old physician/father did the lion's share of the work (which is what happens when one leaves the Pinewood Derby project to the eleventh hour).

At the Pinewood Derby, we watched the cars race down the track. However, Collin's car didn't seem to understand that it was a race.  His car was more "Driving Miss Daisy" than "Daytona 500."  Collin's vehicle shimmied down the track with no sense of urgency while its competitors blazed past.  At in a final gesture of a defeat, one wheel bailed and flew to freedom.  His three-wheeled car limped across the finish line. 

Despite the perceived advantage of an adult male completing the project, the results were not favorable for Collin's car.  His car placed in dead last place...every time.  And while the car's creator is extremely talented and gifted in numerous areas, pinewood derby making is not his calling.

Collin was dejected and embarrassed.  He hung his head low and moved closer to the door.  But the derby wasn't finished.  His best bud's car was doing amazing (as a shock to no one considering his father is an engineer:)).

It was a pivotal mom moment: do I allow Collin to slide out of the  gymnasium and lick his wounds or do I insist that he stay and learn to cheer on a friend who is enjoying success (even when he is not)?  I selected the latter and decided this was a friendship training opportunity.

At first, it was hard for Collin to celebrate his buddy's good fortune.   The salt of defeat bitters even the kindness of hearts.  But the longer we talked and watched his friend's car zoom down the tracks, Collin's rough patches softened.  

A few minutes later, he sat on the sidelines with his friend.  Collin clutched his wounded car while he watched his friend cradle a trophy.

Collin didn't give his friend a hug or a high-five for his victory, but he did stay to watch his friend win.  I'm a firm believer in small steps and little triumphs.  I subscribe to the notion that the tiny life lessons matter and lead to big heart changes.

This is why we stayed.

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