My son just recently became a Cub Scout! This is a day that he has looked forward to with great anticipation and excitement- a super cool uniform, pinewood derbies, and exclusive scout activities being at the top of his list. I was equally excited for this day because I was anxious for him to become a member of the inspired program, and because I also couldn't wait for him to be involved in the weekly activities and character growth that scouting offers.
As familiar as I am with scouting (my brothers and husband are all Eagles), I'm pretty sure I had no idea how my life would be changing. My dreams of pinewood derbies and leather belts with "Mom" printed on them, have quickly been tempered by reality. A process that has come in two stages.
The first stage was the day my son received his Handbook. As I casually thumbed through the pages, it began to dawn on me that my job was going to entail much more than dropping my son off at weekly activities and clapping at award ceremonies... specifically when I read, "Almost all electives and achievements are done by you and your Cub Scout at home, not in the den meeting." It is then I realized that the pins the mom's receive at awards ceremonies are not merely sentimental gestures acknowledging a mother's support. I will be as involved in my son's scouting as he is. I will earn every one of those pins, because I will have nagged and prodded my son to complete the requirements to earn his awards. I am entering a whole new stage of Motherhood! A milestone I had not anticipated or prepared for.
The second stage came the night of my son's first meeting. After the meeting ended, my son joined the rest of the pack in storming the refreshment table. They raided its contents like a swarm of locusts, then ran into the back of the gym where they proceeded to rough house and wildly run around as parents mingled. This, of course, was expected. My eyes were opened though, when it came time to leave. As I walked through the partition to where the boys were playing to collect my son, I entered just in time to see my son with his arms around a friend forcefully flinging him to the ground. He then landed on top of him and triumphantly announced to his friend that he had pinned him. I was taken aback. This was something I had never seen my son do before. And then in an instant, every encounter I had ever had with scouts as a youth and adult flashed before my eyes- the running, the wrestling, the yelling, the heckling, the wedgies, the sweaty boy smell. And in that magical moment, I saw my son in a new light. I realized that the natural order of things was taking place, and as if a wand had been waved that night my son had entered a whole new stage of boyhood. My son had become a scout.