Brandon had always been thought of as “slow.” He talked slowly; he walked slowly; he read slowly and he ate slowly. He was a nine-year-old boy in fourth grade. Many of Brandon’s classmates made fun of him because he could not process information quickly.
“Mom, I don’t mean to be so slow,” he told his Mother. “I know, sweetheart,” she always replied to him. “You remember the story of The Tortoise and the Hare, don’t you?” “Yes. It’s one of my favorite stories because the tortoise reminds me of me.” “That’s right. Being slow and deliberate can have a tremendous advantage. Sweetheart, you’re gonna find something that you really like to do that suits you that other people will value. Mark my word.” “Are you sure, Mom? I’m tired of being thought of as ‘slo-mo.’” “Slo-mo is a no-go. That name will go away sooner than you think.” Brandon began to speak. “Just trust me on this, son,” his Mom interrupted. “Moms know these kinds of things.” “Alright, Mom.”
The next day, Brandon excitedly came home with a flyer about a soapbox derby event to be held at the local park. “Mom!” yelled Brandon. “What’s all the fuss about, honey?” she replied. “You were right!” “About what?” “The thing you said about something I really like to do.” Brandon showed his Mother the flyer. She read aloud, “1st annual soap-box derby. Prizes for the top three cars.” Brandon was too excited to let her finish. “Mom, you know how much I like to build things. Look at all those model cars in my room. I can design one of the cars for the race. Joey could drive it. He’s one of the best athletes in the school. And he’s my best friend.” “Okay. Here’s the deal,” she said seriously. “Dad and I will get you all of the parts you need. The only condition is that you tell no one – not even Joey – about your car-building, okay? The only one I AM gonna tell is Mr. Washington.” “The principal?” “Yes!” “Why, Mom?” “Just trust your Mom. Have I ever steered you wrong before? Pun intended,” Brandon’s Mom giggled. “Mom! Alright.”
Brandon worked tirelessly on the soapbox car while his Dad took many pictures of all the stages from Brandon designing the car to the finished product. Brandon basically did all of the designing and constructing. In spite of Brandon staying up past his bedtime during most of the schoolnights, his Mother was happy that he was doing something that her son loved. After about three to four weeks, Brandon was finished constructing the car.
On race day, Brandon’s friend, Joey, drove the car that Brandon built without knowing that Brandon himself built the car. It was an easy victory for Joey because of the car’s streamlining and precision. The race sponsors announced that Joey and Brandon were the championship team. Joey was not surprised because he knew Brandon’s capabilities. But the other kids were in shock.
“This is the best car in the school,” said one of the kids. “Yeah,” said another kid. “Look at all of the details and the contours. This car was made to be the fastest.” “How could Brandon Tyler have built this car?” asked another. “He couldn’t do anything quickly and finish by the end of the day to save his life.” “He didn’t finish by the end of the day,” interjected Mr. Washington. “It took him several weeks. Being slow and deliberate has its advantages. Could ANY of you have done all of the precision work and detailing of this car without going crazy?” “No,” the boys said in harmony. Mr. Washington had a photo album, which had the photos of all of the stages of Brandon’s car construction taken by his Father. He showed the boys, who were flabbergasted. Brandon’s Mother came up to her son and gave him a big kiss. “Aw, Mom!” said Brandon regretfully. “Never you mind, mister. I earned that kiss. What did your Mother tell you?” “Your Mother’s right, son,” said Brandon’s Dad. “Everyone has talents to offer the world.” “Well alright,” affirmed Mr. Washington. “’The slowest boy in the school’ created the fastest car in the school. How’s that for irony?”