Then, the night before the big day, they raced the new car against Andrew's cars from Wolves and Bears. He had won third place his first year and second his second year. Andrew was determined to try and win first this year. We told him that our new Pack was bigger. That we didn't really know what the competition would be like. That just enjoying his car and his time with his dad was all that mattered. When he raced the three cars, the first year car won. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Chad adjusted the wheels, still the first year car won. He went at 6am the morning of the race and bought new graphite. He adjusted the wheels some more. Still the first year car won. The car they built three years ago with not as much precision, not as much research, without Youtube inspired perfect weight balance and wheel alignment.
The difference was small. The first year car was just a nose ahead each time. Not even a car length. But that difference was enough to Andrew. He wanted to win way more than he wanted to use his new car. Chad was very sweet about it. Although he REALLY wanted Andrew NOT to care about winning and to just enjoy and race his new car, he left the choice to Andrew. Andrew chose to go with the faster car, as I imagine most 10 year old boys would choose.
I am the Cub Committee Chair in our new ward, so I got to help with set up and planning the derby. We had designated area for the racers to all sit together and gave them Pit Crew passes to wear. We had a station set up for fans to make posters to cheer on their favorite racers. We had doughnuts and fruit for breakfast. And then the favorite among the little siblings and the Cubs, we had a Little Racers area with Hot Wheels and Tracks for them to play with throughout the morning. It worked great, and we didn't have any littles crossing the track in the middle of the races.
Andrew has been a little slow to warm up in our new ward. He is always so focused on "following the rules," that sometimes he forgets to smile and talk to other people. Not many people at school or at church have had the chance to see the fun, witty, and goofy side of Andrew that we all know and love. The Pinewood Derby changed that.
He made up silly handshakes!
And even danced a winners' jig...yes, a jig.
Just look at those smiles. I am tearing up just typing this. He misses his Winston-Salem friends and cousins so much. It warms my heart to see him let go and be himself with the other boys after 9 months.
So how did Andrew's car do? Well, he did not make his goal of first.....
I am thinking his win was probably thanks to his crazy fans!