Saturday, January 22, 2005

I don't wanna be a cub scout mom!

Published January 22, 2005
St. George Spectrum & Daily News
My oldest child turned eight just before Christmas. Aside from feeling much more elderly than I should, I think I'm handling having an eight year old really well...or I was, up until the moment a woman at church handed me a rectangular package, disingenuously wrapped in bright Christmas paper.

What could it be? Chocolate? A small jewelry box? A million dollars? Alas, the trickster in the pretty dress had something else in mind. Under the deceptive wrapping was revealed a kit containing a block of pine, four wheels, axels, and numbered stickers. What kind of Christmas present was this??

And then it hit me like a model car flying off a homemade son is a Cub Scout.

A Cub Scout? Ray? How can this be? He was in preschool, like, yesterday. He can't possibly be ready to be a scout! Scouts sleep in the woods and light fires and eat bugs. I'm not ready to have a woods-sleeping, fire-lighting, bug-eating scout in the house!

Obviously, I'm coming into this from a difficult space, ie., womanhood. Having never been a scout, I'm just a little bit scared. I was one of four girls. I don't know nothing 'bout raisin' no scout!

I did have a brother, but a four year age difference and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry kept me from paying too much attention to his scouting activities. I do remember him being turned upside down in front of a large group of people once, but I just assumed that was the universe finally giving him the humiliation he so rightfully deserved.

Of course, I should remember that I'm not alone in the scout raising. My husband, through diligence and hard work (and parents who wouldn't let him get his driver's license until he did it) achieved the Eagle Scout level in the Boy Scouts. That's right, he's a bug eater too...a Boy Scout through and through.

This fact became apparent tonight as he, ahem, "helped" Ray carve and put together the pinewood derby car from the box. I've never seen man so obsessed with a piece of wood and four wheels before. After the official Derby's Eve weigh in, it was obvious my husband was not alone. I'm not sure I want to know how competitive they'll all be when the actual race begins
Thinking about this development more rationally, I know I'll probably make it through the next eight years of merit badges and campouts (and the eight years after that, while Michael is a scout). After all, I've got a husband to help with the really tough stuff. I've got it pretty easy! Just a little bit of sewing...yeah...sewing...

Aw, dang.