This week marks 3 huge events in my elder son’s life: high school graduation, his 18th birthday, and his receipt of Eagle Scout. I had to stop the progress of my little series on parenting to honor one of my own.
As you might know, years ago I chose to homeschool my kids; therefore, I can speak from first-hand knowledge that this son was a fantastic student. He is one of those students that never rolled his eyes in complaint about a subject assigned, he didn’t negotiate to get out of school early, he always had a good attitude, and he was very smart. His main fault when it came to his education process is that he had such a full sense of humor that he was forever making us all laugh. I can’t imagine school without him interjecting his humor and laughter to our process.
Today this amazing young man turns 18. He has been one of those kids that makes their parents look amazing. He converses well with adults, being respectful and articulate. He is inclusive of younger kids, being willing to step away from the grown-up conversations to help little ones feel special. He is self-controlled and well-grounded when it comes to his peers, always making the thoughtful, responsible choices. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
On top of all of that, he has recently earned his Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts. Some of you may know how difficult and rare this achievement is; but very few of you know how incredibly difficult his journey to this achievement was. Remembering that we just made a cross-country move, what that meant to his Boy Scout career was that the hours and hours of work that he’d invested towards getting his Eagle project completed in Connecticut was lost. He had to start over in Texas, not just on developing a new project and the myriads of paperwork and decisions necessary to see it through to completion, but also relationally, building respect and trust amongst his peers and their leaders. Add to all of this that the troop that he joined rarely awards Eagles, and has never, ever awarded one to a transfer scout. He has had to work and work to get things accomplished, he has had to swallow his pride when he was misunderstood, and has had to stretch himself well-beyond his comfort level to navigate complicated relationships.
With the help of one exceptional scout/friend that committed his time and effort to seeing Josiah succeed, the contributions of those who believed in him and were willing to help fund his project, and his siblings who relentlessly cheered him on, he got all of the requirements necessary checked off yesterday. His Court of Honor, where he will receive his award, is a few months off, but we in the family are celebrating this accomplishment.
So today, I stop to honor my son as he graduates high school, turns 18, and accomplishes his Eagle Scout rank. Quite a bit for a day’s work!