Spenser’s never been particularly keen about his involvement in Boy Scouts. I think he thought it was going to be more outdoors stuff and less meetings and sitting around learning crap. This extended to his involvement in the Pinewood Derby. He had kind of a meltdown at the boat race earlier in the year when he competed well but didn’t win. At the boat race there was only one person in the entire pack who got a trophy. Spenser came in somewhere in the top ten. So he wasn’t especially concerned about participating in the car race, he was more excited about the snack time they kept mentioning. Since he wasn’t very excited, and my crafting skills are abysmal at best, I didn’t push him to do anything with and hoped it would all go away.
Well, it didn’t. And I finally took him out to the store a week before the race to buy a pre-cut kit and some spray paint. And then I sat on that until the night before weigh-in and really, really hoped it would all go away. I was swamped with day job work AND freelance work and generally feeling miserable, so this was one more thing I really didn’t want to face down. But Becky stepped in and did a much better job of painting and assembling the car than I ever could have and Spenser was happy with it. And I was saddled with more fatherly guilt – a recurring theme through his entire time in Boy Scouts.
A side note to this guilt bit, Spenser had been asking me for a week to play video games with him and I kept putting him off. He would say ok but I could tell he was crushed. It made me feel awful and this just added to that guilt.
So we showed up to the race and his car was just awful. It was the slowest one there by far and I felt bad for him. But he was having fun and he really did love the snacks. And then a funny thing happened. Due to the small size of his den, and the fact that the top four in each den got a trophy, his second place finish, out of two participants, won him a shiny trophy that he was so proud of. I know we make a lot of noise about everyone getting a trophy and how it’s ruined a generation, but anyone who has dealt with millennial in person, not in theory or just by reading about them, realized what an asset they are. Facebook was invented by a millennial and so were most of the other things that are, or will, change our world in the next few decades. And in that context, I’m fine with Spenser getting a trophy for doing absolutely nothing but showing up.
He turned the trophy into a hammer and a tree de-barker a few days after, so there’s also that to be proud of.