If At First You Don't Succeed, Ask Papa

Two years ago, we had our first experience with the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. For those of you who don't know about the Pinewood Derby, it is a miniature car race held in several heats with little wooden cars that the Scout's dads the Scouts have made.

Our oldest, Slim, was in Cub Scouts that year, and he and Hubby made his car. It was actually really cute. He was totally into Sponge Bob so Hubby painted it yellow, and Slim put Sponge Bob stickers on it. We weren't expecting him to win or anything being that it was his first derby, but we were hopeful he'd at least make a good showing.

To make a long story short, it was the slowest damn car anyone had ever seen. It came in dead last every single heat. I kid you not, there were times that everyone was looking at their watches waiting for the thing to cross the finish line.

It was pretty pathetic. Especially when Slim turned to us, his big first grade eyes full of confusion, and asked, "Why do I keep winning sixth place every time?"

It was a very tenuous time for me, being shortly after Joey's death and being pregnant with Baby E. My heart broken for him, I actually started crying and had to turn away.

I mean, how sucky is last place every time? Little did we know, there is actually a real strategy to building these cars. Who knew?

So this year was Knox's first time in Cub Scouts; and as the Pinewood Derby approached, he actually said to Hubby, "No offense Dad, but I think I'm going to ask Papa to help me build my car."

He was referring to my dad, his grandpa, who has a wood shop behind his garage. He can build anything, fix anything, create anything.

Plus, he used to help my brother with his Pinewood Derby cars back in the day.

So we called Papa, who said he would help. The three of them worked on the car, and the day of the race, Saturday, arrived.

We held our breaths. First heat - Knox's car wins. Second heat - Knox's car wins. Third heat - win. I think out of all his heats, he was only in second place once or twice.

His face was beaming, and it was exciting for us all.

Especially for Hubby and Papa, who were the men of the hour. All the first-time dads were gathered around them patting them on the back and asking them what their secret was. They shrugged their shoulders, but the look of pride on their faces was just as cute as the look of excitement and pride on Knox's face.

In reality, so as not to be outdone by his father-in-law, Hubby had helped Knox research the design of the cars, and Papa had helped with the polishing of the nail heads and the weighting of the car and all the technical things that the scouts and dads just learn along the way.

It turned out that Knox got first place overall in his division.

Our second Pinewood Derby experience was sure a lot more fun than our first. And everyone learned a valuable lesson: if at first you don't succeed, ask Papa for help.

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