Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Great Race

I’m a little behind on this blog, but it’s summer, and the holiday was a busy time... I know, excuses, excuses. Either way, last week was the culmination of our go-car endeavors, and it was a blast. JM organized the big go-cart race, even though the other half of our team was nowhere to be found, they were out of town on a trip. In their defense, the final date of the race was kind of thrust into our laps with little in the way of notice, so they would not have known in time.

Things worked out well, in the end, because the kids managed to find a couple of kids to fill in, and I think it worked out for the best. One A’s new friends from clown camp was recruited, and ES was also willing to fill in. ES is a great kid, a very nice and loyal friend, not to mention hard working and athletic, so she was a good candidate for the race. Plus, she’s on A’s track team, so they can both run.

The race was held over at the school, after clown camp, and it was a hot day. I don’t know A’s friend, A, that well, but I told her mom that we’d be happy to have her over and then bring her back home. She was fine with that, so we went for it. We took the cart over to the school and it was quite a crowd that had gathered. The carts were amazing, so well done. One team built a heart shaped car, and another made one in the shape of a guitar, complete with a real guitar back rest. People really went for it. JM had car music blasting (i.e., Beach Boys), and there was plenty of ice cold watermelon. A good thing, too, because the heat was sweltering.

There were probably 100 kids out there, and the race was pretty simple. One member pushed the car halfway around the track, and then they switched for the second half. A and ES did great, finishing in the top three. This meant they raced all together for the final, and the race was close. They lost to the heart car, but was it ever close. I’m talking inches, but I was there, and I could see that the heart car won. For all it’s worth, it was clear A’s team let up a little in the final stretch, and that’s what gave the other team the win.

No matter, however, because all the kids displayed a lot of class and character, giving hugs and encouragement and praise to each other at the end. It was nice to see, they were all so nice about it. At least from my end, and I’m the king of cynics, it all seemed so sincere. Regardless of the outcome, the kids had a blast, and that’s all that matter, right?

After the race, we dropped A off at home, then headed back to the farmer’s market, where the kids hung out, got crazy, and played. They spent a lot of time in the brook, and there must have been 20 kids in there. Talk about fun. I felt bad dragging them away, but it was getting late, and it was a long but wonderful days. The kind that reminds parents (who, for the most part, are completely out of touch with what it means to be a kid) what being young is all about.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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