Part III – The Flightless Eagle

A few months ago we held our younger son’s ceremony for his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts. The day finally arrived for the proud parents to show off some swagger. Yes, I am…er…was…maybe still is…a crazy, very proud Scout Mom.

Both of my sons achieved Eagle rank. As described in “Part II” My eldest was a Screamin’ Eagle, the Boy Scout term for a Scout that completes his Eagle rank right at or very close to his 18th birthday.

I swore my youngest would not do the same thing. Hah! Here we are three years later. A few months before his 17th birthday, his Dad and I began pushing him to plan and complete his project. This son rebuilt fence lines for a youth program at a local wildlife refuge. Whew, I breathed a sigh of relief when he finished the project about eight months before his 18th birthday. Big Hint: The project itself was the quickest part of this process!

As always the devil is in the paperwork. Once the project is completed the report has to be finished, along with documentation and final signatures (Yes I am also a mean scout mom because I won’t write their reports for them (And…don’t think I didn’t consider it! It would have been easier to write it myself!). The whole thing culminates with an Eagle Board of Review where the scout presents his project. He answers any questions about the project and his journey in scouting. Not so easy but doable.

It takes this one seven months to get to his Board of Review. After much cajoling, tears, prayers, lectures, jokes and arguments, he buckles down completes and turns the report in a week’s time. So he turns in the report. The Board of Review is scheduled. Then my son tells me “eh…I’m not going to do the Board of Review.”

“What? Are you crazy?” I yell.

He shrugs. “I did the project. I know I completed it. I don’t need to do the Board.”

I shake my head. He’s not afraid of public speaking so I didn’t understand. I respond “Don’t you want to talk about it? C’mon get your swagger on! This is your chance to brag about your accomplishments.”

I’m incredulous, apparently he missed the memo. The job’s not done until the paperwork and the presentation is complete. I remind him of this little fact of life. After a long, heated discussion he agrees to complete the Board of Review. Whew! You never know how a Millennial will react. But they pull through in the clinch.

We finally come to his Board of Review on a Monday night about six weeks before his birthday. He comes home in his full dress uniform looking all impressive. I’m about ready to jump out of my skin. I’m bouncing up and down. “Did ya get it? Did ya get it?”

He looks down at me (since he’s about seven inches taller) and says with a serious face and quiet tone, “No.”

“No! What happened? Did you have everything you needed? What did you forget?” I look up at him. He has one eyebrow raised. “You’re teasing me.” I practically screech.

He grabs me in a hug and says close to my ear. “Of course I got it. What did you think would happen?” He chuckles and ambles down to his room.

He doesn’t really want to know what I think could happen does he? Flip remark, curse word, hmmm… I breathe a sigh of mama pride. He did it. He came through and did it. He breaks my spell by coming out of his lair (room) looking for food in his usual t-shirt and baggy shorts.

“Well Mom, I guess that makes me a Screamin’ Eagle.” He says in that nonchalant manner.

I bristle up, just like a puffed up red hen. “No that makes you a Lazy Eagle.” (Grr) He waves me off with his head in the fridge.

Now that I’ve had a few months to think about it, I really think he was a ‘flightless eagle.’ He never has had to fly. Our lives are structured to live by the “rules” whether they are social norms, actual laws, or political correctness. He like me is more of an introverted homebody. I see nothing wrong with that unless he and I never test our wings and fly.

So since I really don’t want to live with my children for the rest of my life, I’m determined to push them out of my nest. I want to enjoy their accomplishments in life and display my mama pride!

I am pushing him to see beyond his computer, and our home to fly his own path. If I have too…I will kick this bird out of my nest. Then, this Eagle chick of mine may just be a Screamin’ Eagle as he learns to fly!

Fly little bird, Fly!

(Whisper) I’ll keep you posted…


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