For the past few years we’ve participated in the cardboard car competition for our girls and their local Awanas club. For those of you not familiar with Awanas, it’s a club that they go to on Wednesday night at church that helps them learn scripture while teaching them a ton about the Bible. This year we only had one car to make because our oldest child aged out of this particular activity but our middle child, who is slightly obsessed with Despicable Me, only had one request. She really wanted to make Gru’s Car out of cardboard.
If you’ve been around for the past two years (You’re my favorite person, BTW) then you’ll know that in the past I rambled on and on about how we wanted to make the cars totally by themselves. The competition is broken up into parts and one of the awards goes to kids that made their cars all by themselves. Our oldest has won one of those awards before for the make it yourself category but her little sister never has and all she really wanted to do was win an award. So why does this matter? Well the truth is that we would much rather let them use their creativity to come up with the cars they want and execute them all by themselves.
But our middle child has the integrity of an Ox. There are days that her honesty and integrity make me well up with tears of pride. There’s usually not many kids in the make it yourself category, parents usually help, and the past two years her car was so amazing that we thought for sure she’d win an award. But year after year she didn’t. Do you know why? Because when the leader asked her if she made it all by herself she answered No. Every year she told them no. She said no because I wouldn’t let her do the hot glue gun by herself so she would tell me where she wanted an item and I would glue it on there for her. Her car was amazing each year but it couldn’t compete with the cars that the parents helped to make and while she’s honest, she’s not detailed. She didn’t tell them that I glued things on for her she would just say “no, mommy helped me”.
So this year my husband and I decided to step in and help. She sketched out the car as she wanted it and then the three of us together sat down and cut and glued until our hands cramped. We used duct tape for most of the car and then spray painted it metallic silver. The flames are tissue paper with rice LED lights inside of it fitted inside a plastic flower pot. The rivets are made using thumb tacks. The minion toys, her pride and joy, are held onto the back using rubber bands that are taped to the car.
We asked her if she wanted to wear her minion costume from halloween but she passed. I wish she would have worn it.
While I loved seeing her creativity and pride over her own creations in the past, this year watching her excitement over having a Gru Car was amazing. She was giggling non stop and talking just as much. Plus the fact that we were doing it together meant a lot to her, as well as to us.
It took a lot of time but end the end? She won her first award to ever receive at all in a competition – second place all around.
For a girl that is always seeing her sporty and very smart older sister win but not having any of her own awards from a competition, this meant the world.
Could she had done it by herself? Yes because to us she’s always a winner. Her spirit and love alone deserve more than an award could ever offer. But helping her and doing it together brought another level of joy and family time spent together.