Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Eagle Scout

When my brother, who is now 18 (ohmygodistillcantbelieveit), was born, I was 8 and my sister was 6. This meant that my dear parents had had 8 straight years of all things "girl."

And do I mean GIRL! From Barbies to dress-up, tea parties to American Girl Dolls - we were two of the pinkest and purplest little things in town. Then, suddenly on a snowy morning in December, the world of "boy" entered our lives. Thinking back on it, my Dad must have been so thrilled to have a little more testosterone in our otherwise estrogen-laden abode.

It wasn't long before toy trucks and cars littered the family room floor. Pastels were replaced with the primary colors. Army men and plastic swords were the new "it" thing at our place. Our world was officially, and so wonderfully, a boy's world - and I have LOVED every minute of it.

Watching my brother grow into the young man that he currently is has been, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest gifts I have been given. This kid blows me away. He is far, far more intelligent than my sister and I combined. He is gracious, caring and one of the funniest people I know. I could go on and on. Gosh I am getting teary eyed thinking about it. I just love him SOOOO much! For all these reasons and more, it was such a pleasure and an honor to attend his Eagle Court of Honor this past Monday evening.

After years and years of hard work and hiding from all his friends that he was still in Boy Scouts ( I cannot judge him for this. I was in Girl Scouts until 7th grade and I too hid that from all of my friends) he finally achieved the top honor: Eagle Scout.

As I walked in, I noticed that all of friends were sitting in the second row. Surprised, I asked my brother, "What are they doing here? I thought you were too cool to tell them about this?"

"Well, I'm not embarrassed anymore. A lot of Marines are Eagle Scouts, so it's cool now," he replied.

Okay. Whatever BOY!

The Eagle Court of Honor, for those who have never attended one, is very much about the ceremony and tradition. I couldn't help but feel like when my Dad and Grandpa had their Eagle Court of Honor years ago, it was pretty darn similar.

This was where it all took place at the front of the room. Can you tell that men did the decorating? No offense to anyone, but I thought it could have used a little more spice, but what do I know?

Here is my brother, and the other young man receiving his Eagle Scout honor that night, doing a little pre-ceremony run-down. Both of the boys had to make speeches and I think they were quite nervous at this point.

To get things started, some of the younger scouts did a candle lighting ceremony and stated all of the principles of being a Boy Scout. I was kind of obsessed with how cute they were. There is just something about kids nervously having to do things in front of people when you can tell they would rather be doing about a million other things - it entertains me to no end.

Here are the two honorees looking on during the candle lighting ceremony. Don't look too thrilled boys, and, for goodness sakes, sit up! Sheesh...

Before the boys had to make their speeches, many of the parents who have been involved in the running of the troop got to say a few words. This is my Dad imparting his wisdom to the crowd. An Eagle Scout himself, he was determined to get my brother to the finish line and was a huge part of the whole production.

Next up, time for the C-Man (also known as Conor) to give his speech. I just loved seeing him up there. This kid is a natural at public speaking and I stood there just feeling so proud of him.

Please know that I am well aware that when I talk about my brother I sound like I am talking about my own child. I can't help it. We have often joked that Conor has 3 Moms. I don't think he finds it as funny as we do.

He looks like such a man! I am still trying to get over the fact that he has armpit hair and doesn't want to hold my hand when we cross the street. Lord help me when I have my own children.

Oh my brother. Once again, I am so very proud. Congratulations on yet another achievement! I know this was not always an easy thing for you to stick with, care about and hide from your friends, but you did it.

Next up? College. Get ready my friend. You are about to read like you have never read before. Freedom is right at your fingertips, but with freedom comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes consequences and with consequences comes your sisters always on the sidelines saying, "I told you so!" Just kidding.

Kind of.

PS - Some of you may have noticed that my brother's sash is going the wrong way. This is due to the fact that when my Dad was a wee little scout himself, my Grandma accidentally messed up his sash. Then, years and years later when my brother's sash was being made, my Step-Mom simply copied how my Dad's had been, and so the mistake continued. Oops!


  1. It sounds like you guys have a fantastic relationship, and he is lucky to have you!

  2. I'm smiling through tears. What a beautiful tribute to a fine young man. My baby brothers have been gone 20 years now, and I still miss them so much. I too loved having brothers, seeing the world through the eyes of little boys is life changing. My Grandfather was an Eagle Scout, and my dad tried, but got sick and couldn't continue. My brothers were involved with scouts until high school. What an honor to make it to Eagle. It always seems right there alongside the Olympics to me.

    As for the sash, I didn't notice, but I do know that once you sew those patches on, there is NO WAY you're going to take them off and sew them on again. LOL!!!

    I just read your side bar about the 5 everyday things you struggle with. Rice: Here's the secret. Follow the recipe -- generally one part rice to two parts water and salt. I don't put butter in it, but you can. Bring water and rice to a full boil then put on the pan lid, turn down the heat to just a hair above simmer. DO NOT TOUCH THE PAN again for 17 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID, even if it boils over. And, it will boil over unless you put it in a humongous pan. Just deal with the boil over mess. After 17 minutes (or whatever your recipe calls for - for regular long grain white rice, 17 minutes is perfect), take the pan off the heat, and let it stand for 5 minutes (again, don't lift the lid). When that time is up, take off the lid and fluff the rice with a fork and serve. The key is to leave it covered. When you lift the lid it stops the absorption and makes for crunchy, half cooked and soupy rice. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

    Good luck with the rice and again, congratulations to your brother, and thanks for the few minutes you gave me to remember my own brothers today.

  3. aww so cute!

    That was a very sweet tribute.

    I have two older brothers - so the opposite things happened in my house. there was a girl explosion.

  4. A wonderful and sweet tribute.

    And I totally understand the child vs. brother thing. No matter how old my sister is, I used to change her diapers :)

    Congratulations Eagle Scout!

  5. sweet tribute and what a great family tradition to carry on!

    {i kick serious butt doing the hula hoop + super hula hoop in the wii}

  6. Sigh, siblings are so cute! What a lovely story!


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