Friday night was the annual Awana Grand Prix. Little Guy carefully chose the design of his car – he helped cut it out and sand it. He helped tape and paint it, and decorate it with rhinestones. The car itself was 100g too light but he didn’t want to add weights because he wanted to stay true to his design. He was putting all his “eggs in one basket” and was sure he was going to win a trophy for design.

Hubby and I did our best to point out that his car wouldn’t be fast. We reminded him that there were going to many great designs and he might not win! We did our best to prepare him to be a good winner or a good loser.

His car lost every heat but he just shrugged and said “That’s okay. I don’t care if I lose”. I was so proud of him. In what seemed an eternity, trapped in a gym that smelled of sweat and WD40, with overstimulated children and overtired parents, they announced the winners…

I saw the moment he realized his name wasn’t going to be called, the moment his heart broke. He buried his head in my shoulder and I knew there was nothing I could say that would make it any less painful. We headed home with heavy hearts, and he announced that he quit, that he didn’t want to build a car next year…

Life is full of disappointments and heartache. I am hoping that, in time, Little Guy will build up the strength, resources, and the resilience to cope better with the truly big disappointments that will come his way. I am hoping that he will learn to appreciate the successes and to value the lessons he can extract from the disappointments. To separate his self-worth from his circumstances. To be able to see beyond the closed door to the new opportunity rising on the horizon.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment”.

By Sunday night, Little Guy was still pretty upset, but he had decided that he might try again next year. And this time, he was going to do all the work himself. I think he’s going to be alright…