Big Boy's court of honor should really have happened like a month before but we like to procrastinate around here I guess. Trying to get all that done just before leaving was a note I will make to myself not to repeat with boy's 2 and 3. He didn't really want the court of honor, but I felt it was something good to do for the younger boys in the troop to look up to. We had a nifty cub scout display and I made an effort to invite those families with cub scout aged boys. We got many positive remarks, especially over the white chocolate dipped Oreos with the trefoil scout emblems on them (60 was not enough)... Anyways I will spare you any more of the details but would like to say that I wish we could have had more involvement from the Eagle himself when planning this. Not wanting it done he simply told me that I could do whatever and not to involve him. When he started hearing whisperings about a slide show he sat me down for a talk. He wanted to know what songs I'd chosen, what kind of photos were in there, etc. Suddenly he was super interested. I should have just sat him down and showed it to him but I feared that he would over-ride too much if it and make me have to start from scratch. Instead he saw a glimpse of it while we were setting it up and had his melt down right then and there 10 min before we were to start the event. Nice. Troy somehow pulled off a miracle and replaced the 3-4 slides that most upset him ("I have a cold sore in that one!" "I'm pulling a stupid face there!"), without messing up the timing too much. I'm sorry, but if you want a photo of Big Boy where he's NOT pulling a silly face then you will be looking through a lot of silly faced photos to find a normal one. I dare you to try and put together a slide show of BB without the silly showing through. Not possible. Here is one slide he didn't mind. A Big Boy cartoon character drawn by his cousin....
Awesome no? Thanks Jarom!
So 4 days later we were on a plane to SLC and then a short visit with T's parents there before our 3.5hr drive to Rexburg. On our way we stopped at a thrift store, a dollar store and a Walmart outside of town where it wouldn't be so crowded. We were like sleepy zombies walking down the isles trying to figure out what he would need. We stopped when the rental car would hold no more. We checked into the hotel and as BB was brushing his teeth he actually asked me, in all seriousness, if I could send him new toothbrushes when he texted me. I logically answered that it would take several days for a toothbrush to get to him. He graciously told me he could give me a few day's notice before his current toothbrush needed replacing. I worried that this request meant he was not really ready for the real world. And also that there was no time like the present for him to be pushed out of the nest.
By the time we left him we were ready to go and he was ready for us to go. His manners where not the best and T and I were pretty upset as we drove back to Salt Lake. This sense of entitlement and ingratitude made us feel like failures as parents. It made saying good-bye fairly easy though I must say. Then we had a bit of an ah ha moment on our long drive back. He is a good kid. He's making good choices. He is where he needs to be. He isn't perfect but neither are we. We thought of some kids we know who are in much worse places right now than our son, and suddenly thought that perhaps we were the ungrateful ones.
On the ride to the airport I started thinking about my boy. He must be getting ready for church. Who would be waking him? Would he find his cufflinks? He might not find the iron, or matching socks. Suddenly the tears started coming. I'd been so strong up to this point. Walking onto the plane- another mystery melt down. I don't even know what I was thinking about at that point to bring it on. The other passengers must have thought I was completely nuts.
At home without him there is an invisible hole where he used to be, and way too many cheese sticks in the fridge. Being the oldest child, he had the tendency to always make his presence known. It's quiet even though there are 4 kids left. Weird. I think it's going to be okay though. Sniff.