My true “girly” side came to light recently. I usually don’t like to admit to having one of these, but I am learning there are just certain things involved in raising boys that a girl simply isn’t meant to understand or else I’m just the exception.
My son Luke is a proud and fairly new Cub Scout. I was relieved when he decided he wanted to try scouting because he has absolutely no interest in sports. Luke is my unique child. All my children have their own attributes both good and bad, and Luke is no exception. His individuality defines him. He enjoys being alone even if there are a dozen other kids around. His imagination in building things never ceases to amaze me and he loves to fish. Matter of fact everyone says he is a miniature version of my father. With that being said I think the Boy Scouts is a perfect outlet for him.
My husband and my dad have taken over scout duty with Luke. I want to be involved with my children and their activities, but in this area I felt like it would be good for him to have the guidance of the men in his life. This became all too clear to me when the Pinewood Derby rolled around. As I reviewed the instructions and rules that were sent home my ignorance in all things carpentry and automotive shone through. Terms like weight capacity, wheels, axels, and graphite all seemed to blur into one big “huh?” for me.
I can remember my brother participating in a Pinewood Derby when we were small, but I never imagined or considered the effort required to complete one of those wooden cars. My assumption was that all you needed to do was paint a block and put some wheels on it and voila…little wooden derby car. Boy was I wrong. Over the course of a month I watched my husband and dad discuss each aspect of Luke’s car. They sketched and carved, sanded and chipped.
Luke helped in any way he could. Soon the shape of a little car emerged, ready for a paint job. This was my department of assistance. My little scout was very specific on how he wanted his paint job so I turned this part over to him. He did an excellent job with his color scheme and details. I had to tone down some of his ideas though because he just wanted to keep adding to it. His wishes included skeletons and stars and stripes and wolf heads and…well you get the picture. When the paint dried a unique hotrod emerged. The smile on Luke’s face told the story.
Next up the two men in control of the situation took on the task of putting the accurate amount of weight on the car. This was another area of derby car assembly I was totally oblivious to. With their heavy gloves on and homemade molds they went about melting lead weights and pouring them into wells carved out in the bottom of the car.
Several times I would just sit back and watch them at work. Whether they were sanding or carving or meticulously watching the wheels spin to ensure ease and control I was amazed at their concentration and attention to detail. As I mentioned before I thought you just stuck some wheels on a painted block.
As race day dawned I can honestly say I think my husband and my dad were more excited or maybe more nervous than Luke was. Sitting in the audience of that room I couldn’t help, but smile. Boys of all ages listened anxiously for their names and cars to be called to race. You could almost feel the anticipation of performance for the little cars they had all worked so hard on. I watched Luke’s face each time his speedster took its flight down that track and I knew that all the hard work and dedication to completing it was well worth the effort.
At the end of the day Luke had a permanent smile plastered to his face. His Outlaw car had placed well and he was thrilled he could finally just play with the little hotrod he had patiently been waiting for. My husband and dad were also sporting the “perma-grin” and I didn’t think my husband would be able to fit his head back into the car it was so swelled up. Apparently I was a good student because I can now proudly say that I know what graphite lube and a Dremel tool are.
The most important lesson learned from this entire experience is the fact that boys need men in their lives who are going to truly care about them and be respectful role models. The influence of a decent, Christian man in the lives of young boys is necessary and absolute. My boys are blessed to have wonderful and loving men in their lives that care about their growth and futures and for that I am eternally thankful.
“Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that you always hear Me,…” John 11:41-42