This morning Eli experienced a milestone in his life…
The Pinewood Derby.
This is his first year in the Royal Rangers at our church. It’s kind of like Bible Boy Scouts.
For the last few weeks he’s designed, sanded and painted his car in preparation for…THE BIG RACE!
The private school gymnasium was full of little boys and their dads…who wanted to still be little boys.
There were last-minute modifications to be made, “secret” tricks for greasing the wheels and an overall atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.
Eli couldn’t sit still. One second he was rushing to register his car, the next he was racing away with another little boy from our church, then he was off again to check out the track.
The track was one long piece of metal, separated into six lanes. One end was raised three feet off the ground, curving down to a long straight with a finish line at the other end.
It was all very serious…the length and weight of the car had to meet regulation and each child got the chance to run their car in each lane in case of there being a slight advantage in lane 1 over lane 4.
Then the announcement we’d all been waiting for came…it was time to begin!
Eli joined the rest of his troupe in the line to race their cars. From my perch on the metal bleachers I watched my little boy – he laughed too hard at other little boy jokes, grinned excitedly whenever he caught my eye, and was unable to stand still for even an iota of a second.
Luckily there were only 6 boys from our church racing, so they could all race each other. The cars were placed on the track, the lights flashed yellow-yellow-green and down they flew! Weeks worth of planning, hours of anticipation…it all culminated in this 3 second race.
He came in third!
Then back in line to do it again. Never has a 5-year-old waited so patiently for half an hour.
At the end of the day Eli had received a trophy, a new badge for his vest and a commemorative pin. He was tired from no nap, crazy from eating a lunch of hot dog, chips, candy and soda and proud that he had won two of the races.
He was the happiest little boy ever!
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