Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Learning to Lose

Tonight was Pinewood Derby night for the scouts. I had the general gist before we even started: dad's make the cars, kids race 'em. Best Dad wins.

What I didn't expect was the lesson in losing. How do you tell your kid how to lose? I'm just a Den Leader, so that removes a lot of the emotional tension. I got to watch how things unfolded, and when it came to losing, I was most impressed with Ben. He made a car that was supposed to look like a Lamborghini. He added thin nails under the carriage to look like exhaust pipes and hand drew (badly) all of the lines on his car. When you turned it over there were weights and quarters taped along the bottom. Other cars had weights drilled and melted in for optimum balance and speed. Ben's looked awful - especially compared to the kid who is the 5th son of a sucessful businessman.

That kid is a tremendous scout, and has more Boy Scout Bling per square inch than most of South Harlem. His car was professional, aero-dynamic, and had already had a paint job redo when the first one bubbled a little.

I thought about why these dad's didn't want their kids to lose. If you win, of course, you don't have to feel bad the whole night. You just get more and more accolades as your car keeps placing in the top. You don't have to be gracious and turn to a victor, shaking his hand, to tell him "Good job." But, there was only one kid won the derby, everyone else got to learn in their youth how to be a gracious loser. "Go on, go shake his hand, tell him he did a good job!" said one dad.

After it was over, I asked Ben about his car; "It looks like a Lamborghini..."
"IT IS!" he said.
His eyes lit up, and I could tell that, outside of this competition, he knew he'd done a good job on his own, to make one fantastic car. Good job Ben. You taught me something tonight that makes you, in my book, the Grand Winner. You know how to lose with dignity, and not let it ruin your day, or change how you feel about your work. The other kid took home a ribbon and a shiney car, you took home a lesson that will serve you your whole life through.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

100th Post

It's a year to the month that I started this blog - thanks to my sister, Reagan. Things do change over the course of a year. I started this blog when I was 35, I lived in Arizona and had two kids. I was starting to think about how the coast seemed clear to spend an unprecedented THREE Christmases in the same home. Abigail was in a great school, and Benjamin was making steady progress towards potty training and learning to speak at his level. We had a horrible church schedule ahead of us of 1 - 4pm, and we thought about moving to get away from it.

One year later, we are STILL looking at another year of church from 1 -4pm, but now I live in Utah, with three kids. I spent Christmas in Alpine, and have stopped trying to guess where Christmas 2009 will be. New year, new president, new state, new school, new job, and new child to potty train. ;D I am hopelessly addicted to your comments and hover over Matthew after I post; pestering him with questions like, "Was that funny? Did you like it? What part was were you laughing at? Ohhhh, was that too much there? Should I take that out?" Poor guy. He knows before most of you when I have put up a post because he has often been my reluctant editor.

It has been a year, and as per the title, we have been trying to catch the window; stay on top of this madness, and take it as it comes. Sometimes gracefully, much of the time not. SO, to you - my readers - thanks for stopping by, and cheers! Here's to another 100 in the next year. I hope I've kept you entertained enough to not be considered a waste of your time.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

To my awesome dad, or better put, my dad on Matthew's side of the family, who is turning the big 60 today. Many congratulations and loves comin' your way from a true and loving fan.

Animal Crossing City Folk

Since the aftermath of Christmas I have been rather busy.

I have:

Paid off two mortgages

Been to the Alpine Museum about 45 times - donating at least 25 specimens that they did not own, to put into the private collection for display

Caught the rare and exotic stringfish TWICE -15,000 bells for each one, but I donated the first, as a good citizen ought....

Decorated my house
Sent notes to neighbors and friends
Gone shell collecting
Gone peach collecting
Satisfied a neighbors need for a freshwater Goby
Fished in the Ocean
Fished in a stream
Fished over a waterfall
Gone into the city to deal with a shady character
Gotten a shoe shine
Gotten my hair done.

These are all things that go with the game that LISA got for us for a family Christmas gift. I watched Abigail play it, and it seemed like a kiddie kinda thing. Hey, she seemed to like it, and it's nice to see her out recreationally fishing... even if it is with the Wii. Then I tried it.
OH. MY. GOSH. First, it was just watching Abigail, and noticing what she was doing as she wandered about the town.

"Abigail, you're supposed to pay off your mortgage! It's only 18,900 bells. I'd do that first. After you do that it says here in the book that you can buy a bigger house!"

And then I got a little bit more involved: "You need to stop buying wallpaper, and pay that off first. Look there's an animal that will trade turnips to you, and if you sell them to Tom Nook, he'll give you more money! And if you put some in your savings account, you'll get more bells (the local currency) just for having left it there!"

Then I thought, TO HECK WITH IT! And got my own character, and my own house! And then Matthew got his. And then Benjamin got his.

We are now swapping items. I gave Abigail a set of stair drawers, and she's mailing me a violin as a gift. I know, I'm INSANE! I'm INSANE! Who DOES this?!

Well, LISA does now! She got the game after asking how it was going, and we are feverishly trying to figure out how to get our two towns to connect so that I can go and swap some of my peaches for her pears. She called me all flustered: "We're all playing it now! It's like an obsession, it's like... HEROIN!" Ya gotta love it, they named their town "Squallor". Its so funny to see the comments throughout your visit there, "Welcome to the Squallor Museum!"

Indeed. SO, if any of all y'all are hooked as well, let me know, and I'll give you my friend code and swap ya some awesome Luxurious Oriental Carpeting....