I have never been to a Pinewood Derby before but it is quite fancy these days. It runs like a well oiled machine and is computerized and everything! Nathan started out strong. He won the first run but little did I know they each do about 12 runs! So after his car ran on each of the six tracks, he was still doing well. He was not in the lead but was doing well enough to proceed to the next round.
Here he is moving on to the second round! Then he had to wait for a long time. As Mark says, "they iced him" as in when a football team makes the other teams kicker wait. Mark was yelling over to Nathan to run his wheels to keep them moving! It was quite a scene! He and Pop Pop Falcone were discussing which lane was the fastest, shaping the car for next year and building a ramp in our basement so they can practice! Meanwhile Nathan is sitting with his car not really caring if he wins. So the second half of the race his car failed miserably (not a reflection on you Mark). On one run it didn't even make it to the finish line!
I always tease Mark and say that he manages to suck the fun out of things with things by micromanaging the kids. Trick or treating, Christmas Tree decorating and other events are never without, "hurry up, get your bucket, focus, there are too many ornaments in that spot." He just prefers order. So if I tease him about that, it is only fair to admit that I suck the fun out of events like school events and the Pinewood Derby. The whole time I am focused on the fact that Nathan is not really talking to any of the other boys. He is always standing off to the side, obviously especially when the kids started getting restless and were running around the room. It feels so weird not to have a "typical" boy with messed up bed head and sliding on the floor. My mind then starts to wander off to realizing that every day is the most typcial that Nathan will look unless we find a cure. So if Nathan is not included by his peers (which Mark denies witnessing at Cub Scouts) then will it only get worse from here?
I do not think that Nathan or Bennett look "weird" but that is the word that kids always use when they pint at Nathan. It happened last week in a waiting room and the Mom was too busy on the phone to correct him so of course I angrily did which is probably more uncomfortable for Nathan than the actual comment from the child. Afterwards I asked him if he was upset by the incident and he said, "naah, I didn't care!" That's my boy! Actually that is probably Mark's boy but what about when he looks "weirder"? Will he be excluded even more? Will he care more?
All I know is that I regret being so preocuppied with these thoughts while at the Pinewood Derby. I kept imagining how wonderful events like this would be if our boys were typical because this is the stuff I could not wait to do as a parent. But we are not typcial so I have a choice. Its not a great choice but I can either suck the fun out of these kinds of events or I can enjoy them and push those thoughts aside for the moment and give my family my full attention.