Special Racers

Our junior-kindergartner participates in the Awana club at our church. He is in the Sparkies group, so last week when the older kids were racing their pinewood cars (AKA Awana Grand Prix), he got to race the Sparkies cars. Since they’re considered too young to be sanding and painting their own cars, the Sparkies bring in a Matchbox- or Hot Wheels-type car of their own choosing.

They race them down a track and it’s an actual competition setup as something like a double-elimination tournament. But they race four cars at a time so it’s a little trickier than that. He got second place in each race. But since he never won a race, he didn’t make it to the finals and was not in the running for a trophy.

Later that week, someone (an uncle, a grandparent, I forget who exactly) was asking him about the race and how he did. The conversation went a little like this:
“How did you do in the race?”
I got second every time, but I didn’t get a trophy.
“Did you get a ribbon or anything?”
Yes, but everyone got a ribbon.
“Well that was nice.”
Even last place got a ribbon.

The tone of his voice for that last statement left no doubt that he was not impressed with the participation ribbon. I wouldn’t expect them to get rid of the participation ribbons, as there may be some other children who cherish theirs.

Our son might not understand the concept of single- or double-elimination tournaments, but he knows that if everyone is special then no one is special.

“And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”
– Luke 13:30

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 10:17 pm and has been carefully placed in the Family category.

3 Responses to “Special Racers”

  1. Buckley Says:

    He is wise beyond his years.

  2. Charity Says:

    Just like in t-ball when they don’t keep score and don’t have outs, just go through the whole batting order once each inning. Don’t fool yourself into thinking those kids don’t keep score. Somebody’s got to lose, parents; even the kids know that!

  3. Burrill Says:

    People who think competition is bad for kids are losers.

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