Those who know me well, know I have a fairly strong competitive streak -- I like to make things a contest and I enjoy winning. As the next July rolled around, for the second time I decorated Matthew's bike and put a little more time and effort into the project. While I never vocalized my desires, I had some hopes that Matthew and his bike would get a ribbon for first, second or third place. Sadly, we were (I should say I was) disappointed when we did not even place, and no special ribbon for the littlest rider.
Almost immediately I began to conspire and plan for the next year. As I pondered and planned my ideas and concepts became more elaborate. I began to collect items, like a part of an old window blind and a hula hoop. As parade day grew closer, I started on my masterpiece. Not only would this bike be decorated, it would be transformed into Matthew's own mini float. I spent hours and had to carefully place the bike and all of its adornments into the back of a pickup truck. We arrived at the parade and I nervously watched as the judges looked at all of the entries -- a random collection of bikes from very small to large and a medium size bike hidden within a float. Happily, we accepted our first blue ribbon. I was a bit chagrined when the judge asked Matthew if he helped his dad decorate the bike and my son stated "no, my dad did this all himself."
Well, that was the last of the Fourth of July bike entries, but we soon could look forward to Pinewood Derby! How did we do? Well, the first year we did not win first place, but we did for the next three years. Those victories came thanks to many hours of planning, and scheming while Matthew happily looked on not really caring or knowing how much first place meant to his goofy dad.