Sunday, January 30, 2011

A muted joy.

Ugh. I hate it when I can't let go of something sometimes. It's like my brain gets stuck, and it doesn't rest until I talk it out or write it out. So I'm writing it out because little listening ears are around all the time--and today of all days, well, yesterday now, should be a happy day.

Austin won the Pinewood Derby! How exciting and wonderful and I'm happy for him! He put in a lot of work into that car, along side his dad, that paid off. There were hang ups. Definitely. He's been working on that car for about 3 weeks now. I regret not taking pictures of his progress.

He and his dad took a lot of time deciding which car style he wanted. They looked online at many different types of cars. I remember Austin complaining for a few days after he sawed the whole car in half that his arm hurt. He kept asking if his car looked cool, after only sanding for a few minutes.

I was pleased to see the effort and time he put into this was done in excitement, at how just...everything was shaping up. He was so excited. Is excited.

Yesterday when he won the first time, he was beyond estatic. I think he gave a whoop and you couldn't wipe the grin off his face. I was down at the finish line, and he exclaimed, "I won!" Yet, when another child told him he won and offered him encouragement, he returned it..."I think you got second!" in your face...ha! I was pleased.

The second time he won, he was incredulous. I was once again at the finish line and once again saw his reaction and joy at having won a second time. Excited is an understatement. Seriously.

Wouldn't you know, Grandma and Papa were there and excited as ever and said, "I can't believe he won!" And we, his family, were all just...excited.


Yet knowing other kids, and parents, didn't win that particular race...I told my son something that I sorta regret.

Let me back up a little. Last year, Austin didn't even place. He put in the same sort of effort, but the result was not the same. This year, we explained to him before we went that there were a lot of cars. That his chances of winning were slim to none and it wasn't about winning, but the adventure of building the car with his dad and getting to use the cool power tools, etc. So, he was excited regardless.

After he won the second race, I pulled him aside and said, "There are other kids who haven't won a race yet. You may not win could have just been chance that you won two times already. So don't show your excitement." Yeah, we can all have a collect sigh about what a crap mother move that was. And honestly it was in response to another parent's grimace. Which is so stupid on my end.

As a parent of more than one child, it's often I have the opportunity to witness the differences in my children. What one is good at, the other isn't.

Austin is a great kid. His spirit is one of the pure ones folks. His heart is so tender and open to just about...everything, and I have no doubt he's growing up to be a fine young man. He's learning lessons that will forever remain with him. He's growing up. But Austin struggles. He works so hard all the time to He's behind in reading at school and this plays a huge role in his confidence and his ability to want to do extra things. He's often saying the wrong thing by mistake...and yes, he gets that from me.

Scouting has been something he loves. It's been something encouraging for him and has set him on a path that I like. While there have been some hangs up with the program, he has not let that discourage him from trying his very hardest to succeed in all that he does. I'm so proud of him.

I guess, I just hope he remembers this experience as a positive one. Even despite the parent politics that I just...honestly didn't even know existed because we're so new to the program. But exist anyway. I shouldn't let what someone else says or feels about the derby influence or change my opinion of it. And I certainly should be able to openly praise my own son for his efforts and ultimately his win because of it. And I shouldn't feel badly about it.

But I do. Because that's me. So instead of being his excitable happy self tomorrow at church, which I honestly would love to see, I'll likely once again, ask him to put mute on it. For the sake of no one feels bad.

The funny thing is...he's taking it in stride, and yes...he's still excited. As he should be. It's me that feels the experience was sullied by an opinion that was not my own. And I just need to let that go.

And I need to finally go to sleep and stop worrying about this. Seriously.


vaxhacker said...

Congratulations to him! I love that he and his dad spent some fun quality time building it. That means a lot more than winning on race day.

And seriously, I think we've been blessed to have so few issues with parents who miss the point of the scouting activities. It's a great ward, great cub scouts, great parents and leaders!

Tonya said...

Awwwww, don't worry about it! I think it's completely resonable to let him show his excitement. But it is good for him to understand the importance of cheering others on and being a good team player. Which it sounds like you do a good job of instilling that in him. I for one am so glad that he had a chance to shine. Three cheers from me to Austin!!!

Stacey said...

I know what you are saying, some people are really tough to take, and really we should be over joyed for our kids, they should feel our happiness like the sun, warming them all over.

It is important to be aware of others too.

Hug him for me. Jonah has a derby tonight, he is really excited. Later, see you all soon!