Tonight I freaked out a little on my wife and eight-year-old son when they showed me a pinewood derby kit. I got belligerent and said I didn't want anything to do with it and wouldn't do it, and my son ran out of the kitchen crying.
The thing is, I hate the pinewood derby. I see it as an excuse for fathers who are into woodworking to compete with each other, and I'm not into woodworking. I really dislike scouts in general, but especially the pinewood derby.
When I was Austin's age, my dad was out of town the week of the pinewood derby. Feeling a bunch of masculine pressure, I went out in the garage and attempted to saw at the block of wood with a big hand saw. I still have the scar on my thumb from where the saw slipped and hit me.
I managed to make a couple of cuts, do some sanding, and put on the wheels. At the scout meeting, I felt humiliated when mine looked so bad compared to everyone else's. We held scouts in the Sunday school room, and I remember they were weighting down the cars on the sacrament table. The paint on mine was still a bit wet, and it got some permanent paint on the table, which made me feel bad.
So I have four sons, but I won't do pinewood derby. Frankly, I'm sick of doing what I don't want to do in many aspects of my life, so the things I can control, I'm going to. My sons will just have to enjoy other things with me, not pinewood derby.