Yesterday my family headed down to the Great Cardboard Boat Race on the west side of town. My 12-year-old daughter and her best friend had spent hours upon hours planning and building a pool-worthy vessel out of nothing more than some boxes and duct tape. They were in the driveway of our house until long after dark some nights. They wouldn’t allow adults any input or supporting role other than using the knife to cut cardboard to their specifications. (This restriction, as you might imagine, was particularly tortuous for the dads.)
They were hoping to win the “Creativity Prize” promised in the Sioux Falls Activity Guide, because theirs was an elaborate Harry Potter-themed boat. They asked very politely (they are not whiney, begging kind of girls) first for duct tape, then for more duct tape, then for still more duct tape. They crafted a giant squid and cardboard cutouts of Dumbledore and Voldemort. They decorated some pretty spectacular cardboard flags with the house emblems of Hogwarts.
You might even say they got a little carried away.
That’s what summer is for.
And so I would like to thank the Sioux Falls Park & Rec department, the pool manager, and the lifeguards who kept everything safe and fun. Because there were some pretty little kiddos out there floating around in boxes. Not to mention my kiddo, who isn’t so little anymore.
And I would like to thank Sioux Falls, the Universe, whoever, for that moment … possibly the highlight of my summer … when my daughter and her best friend were paddling their hearts out on the water, and their boat wasn’t sinking, not even a little bit, and people around me (strangers around me) were screaming their lungs out for them.
"Go Girls Go!"
Yeah, that’s when I started to cry at a cardboard boat race.
Go, girls. Go.
p.s. They did win the creativity prize. And it was a cool prize indeed. They also won the bragging rights race, and I’m still bragging, because I’m pretty sure that was the intent.
p.p.s. We kept the boat. Who wouldn’t?