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Soap box derby racer

Updated on July 22, 2015

Soap box derby racer

Soap box derby racing

If we think back to our early childhood we will realize that we all have dreams, wishes and hopes and we have visions of where we've been and where we hope to go. As we grow we will also realize that we will continue to have dreams and wishes and hopes and we should always hold those near to us and strive to meet each and every one of them. For it is our dreams that help shape us and give us meaning and a sense of who we are.

We should also realize that in our childhood we should be allowed to experience what children need to so they can grow and develop and we should always do fun and exciting things so we can have special memories and develop special bonds with our family and our friends. When I think back to my early childhood I can remember when I asked Santa for my first bicycle and my first sled. I also can remember when I received my first invitation to a friend's birthday party.

Another very important part of our childhood are the games and sports we play and participate in. Having been born and raised in Brooklyn, New York as a young kid I learned early on how important it is to make friends and to prove yourself. I had to push myself and work hard to develop my skills and abilities and I enjoyed when I felt that I could participate and compete with the likes of my friends and other kids my age. There were games and sports that I had a natural ability in competing in that helped me to achieve some level of success in and that helped me in developing my self confidence.

I remember when I was a kid and my dad took me for a ride in my first radio flyer wagon. It was the Christmas of 1965 and I was a 4 year old and he and mom placed me gently in the wagon and mom cushioned me with a small pillow and dad rode me around the living room a safe distance from the Christmas tree. It was a wonderful time and I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. From that day on I always had an interest in feeling motion whether it was a wagon, a sled, a skateboard, roller skates, skies or a soap box derby racer.

The beauty of a soap box derby racer is you can dream of building one with the advice of your dad and your friends and you can seek your dad's wisdom and knowledge in developing a drawing rendition of the dream as you lay out the plans and envision it in your mind as you work in making it a reality. I remember when my dad sketched an image of what I hoped would be a racer I could actually sit in and race down the straightaway from start to finish it gave me the drive and ambition to make it happen. My dad was an artist and he could draw anything to perfect specifications and make the sheet of paper come to life with his vision. When my dad drew an image of the soap box derby racer and formulated the list of what was needed to accomplish the dream l worked on a plan to build it from the wood, metal, rubber, glue, tools and hardware my dad helped me buy. My dad used the garage and set up a corner for this project and I was eager to start and make my vision a reality with my dad being my inspiration and someone I could go to for advice. According to the rules to participate in Soap box derby racing you have to build your own racer and have no unfair advantage.

I always looked up to my dad because to me he always seemed to know what to do and he always had the answers. I could always trust his judgement and knew he always took my safety and well being into consideration every day. When I encountered obstacles along the way or had questions I could always go to my dad for advice in my first attempt in building a soap box derby racer and throughout my life for anything. The same could be said for my mom as well as she always cheered me on in everything I did and she always encouraged me from when I was a little boy to when I became a young man and throughout the years we were all together. I was so happy and also very excited as I knew I would be able to accomplish my dream and better yet I would have a chance to ride it and who knows maybe even win a race.

Building a soap box derby racer and having your mom and dad in your corner to support you in your dream is the best mother-son and father-son bonding experience you could ever have and it will leave you with wonderful memories that will live on longer than the time it took to build it and longer than the years we will have together. My parents both are gone now but those memories are still there and will always be there for as long as I live. I look forward to the day I give my son the same opportunity in building his own soap box derby racer and see him race down the straight away with a smile and a feeling like he can do anything in his life.

It's not winning the race that is important. What's important is developing an interest in something and having a dream and a vision and developing a plan to realize that dream and vision and putting all your effort and heart into it and seeing the rewards of completing it as planned. For that is what we will always come up against in our life. We will have challenges that we will need to meet and we must always try to do our very best whether it is in the pursuit of a childhood dream or in pursuit of our education or our career. We learn early on from our childhood experiences and we benefit from the fun days and the special joys we shared with our mom and dad and our friends.

Soap box derby racing is a very fun activity of our childhood and that feeling of racing in something we created makes the experience more rewarding and the lessons we learn are priceless and the special bonds we develop will last forever in our hearts.

Thank you Mom and Dad for those special memories!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      I bonded with my step-son working on cars. He wanted so badly to work on cars and I supplied a bit of knowledge, some tools and a little coaching. That singular item made me a hero in his life and that respect helps us to work through any other disagreements we might have. Through those experiences he has learned a lot and I am quite proud of the way in which he uses the knowledge he has acquired. It has helped him in many ways to shape his life. These are very important times and parents need to embrace them and squeeze them like lemons for all the juice that is there. WB