The spring after my #3 child started scouts, he ranked up for the first time. When I arrived that night, one of the troop leaders handed me a green sash. “This is for you,” he said.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
“He’s going to give you something,” the leader said.
My response was, “O…kay…”
A few minutes later, sure enough, they started down the roster of boys ranking up. Because my last name starts with B, my kid was the first one up, and therefore, with no idea what was going on, I came up to the front and discovered that I was to wear a sash and he was to put a little push pin on it.
When it was all over, I said, “I don’t get it. Why do I get a pin when he gets a ranking? I didn’t do anything.”
Fast forward two rank-ups, and now I know EXACTLY why I get a pin. And I should probably get something more! As the requirements get more in-depth, this is what my relationship with my scout looks like:
Me: You’re bored? Oh good, go look at your scout book and see what you can do.
Me: No, you may not get on the Xbox until you check and see what requirements you are missing and figure out who you need to talk to about it. (Child sighs dramatically.) Do you want to get your Eagle or not?
Me: Have you updated your personal fitness log?
Me: Have you updated your chore log for your family life merit badge?
Me: What other merit badge requirements can you do?
Me: You want to do a horseback merit badge? (Sigh.) Okay, call the counselor and the owner of the horse farm and let’s start figuring out what times fit all THREE of our schedules.
Me: Who do I need to call to set up a time to get your water safety requirements met in the dead of winter?
Me: I thought you told me you were DONE with everything in your rank requirements! GO LINE BY LINE AND GET THOSE RANK REQUIREMENTS DONE, OR YOU WON’T GET TO RANK UP NEXT MONTH!
And this is what it looks like with my child who is actually a self-starter!
This summer, it occurred to me that there should be something like that sash-and-pin ceremony for moms helping teenagers figure out the whole college thing.
And I think I’m just going to leave it right there.