"Listen, kiddo, Jim Kirk was many things, but he was never a Boy Scout." - Dr. Carol Marcus, Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan
The Boy, a sidewalk, a toy car, and a warm sunny day. Need more?
Everything changes. I know this because The Mrs. gets very angry when I don’t change my shirt enough on weekends. But some things don’t . . . .
As The Boy begins school, I see a list of rules that, had I been exposed to them, would have led to me spending a lot of time at home after being expelled. I’m thinking that this explains why Pop Wilder ran for (and won) a seat on the school board. It’s a bit harder kicking out a school board member’s kid, even if this was the seventh fight this week (and it’s Wednesday).
The rules today seem to assume that the smelly, goofy, dirty, unwashed males of the world are already fit for civilization when they hit the classroom. The Mrs. has managed to beat a modicum of civility into The Boy (more than Mom Wilder ever did with me), and he seems to fit alright into the world.
But, we were talking about how some things don’t change . . . .
One thing that I recall fondly was the time that I finally inherited my big brother’s well-worn Cub Scout shirt. Its cottony-goodness was washed until the point the shirt was as warm and soft as
On Saturday, The Mrs. and I accompanied The Boy to “Tiger Fun Day.” The “Tiger” in question is the Tiger Cub, a new (1982) subdivision of Cub Scouting.
Tiger Fun Day was, well, fun. The Boy’s first adventure (in full Cub Scout regalia) was to walk across a modified commando rope bridge, a full four feet above the ground. The Boy has issues with height, and I was worried that he’d melt down in front of dozens of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts about ten feet onto the bridge, in mortal fear of falling into the soft grass chasm below him.
He had a moment, a small one, where he stopped on the line, and I felt like I should go to him to help. I stopped myself. The Mrs. and I watched while he made it all the way to the other side.
“I’m so proud of you,” I said.
“I felt kinda shakey.”
“I know. If you hadn’t felt shakey, I wouldn’t be so proud. That’s what courage is.”
And, lo, courage is part of what Cub Scouts aims to teach. Still the same from the when I was a kid. The other things that Cub Scouts aim to teach were on display as well – friendship, learning, science, extreme nerdishness, and preparedness. I saw adults in Boy Scout regalia talking about the most authentic way to make a teepee. Wonderful.
Cub Scouts is really hideous at teaching entrepreneurship, since they were selling hot dogs (for adults only, kids were free) at $0.50 each. Sno-cones were free. For everyone. I’m pretty sure that the Cub Scout leaders felt bad about charging $0.50 each for the hot dogs, since they made too much money.
We had a wonderful time, and I kept thinking about how very little anything about Scouting had changed. Oh, sure, they would have taken a dim view of our Cub Scout pack leaders (who brought a case of Bud on our overnight campout) but the values of the organization haven’t changed a bit since I was a Boy Scout.
That’s nice. I felt waves of nostalgia as I experienced the day with The Boy. We even drove off to the Scout store and bought a T-shirt for The Boy (he knows this) and his first Cub Scout knife and a Cub Scout pocket watch for his Christmas stocking (he has no clue).
At the store, I found myself with a tear in my eye, glad that despite all of the changes that have gone on in the world, that there is this constant of Scouting between us. Oh, and the constant of loving when things explode.
That never changes, either.