Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Mother's Charge to the New Eagle Scout

Adam and his Troop 764 Scoutmasters: Brian LaRose (current), Phil Cohen, Steve Barton, and Bob Smallwood (the troop's founding Scoutmaster)

Adam and his dad, both Eagle Scouts.

Our son's Eagle Court of Honor was this past weekend, held in the Chapel of St. Luke's Presbyterian Church. We were humbled by the many friends and family who traveled long distances and shared their busy weekends with us.

Adam asked me to close the ceremony with the Mother's Charge, which traditionally means poetry and tears. As an inherent stoic, I really couldn't decide what I'd say, right up to the night before the event. But, during chats with visiting friends, I finally figured it out.

And here it is ...

Seventy miles.

The Boy Scout Hiking Merit Badge requires five hikes of 10 continuous miles each.

Plus one hike of 20 continuous miles.

You had to choose hiking trails close to Atlanta. No high adventure because they’re too remote. Crohn’s meant staying close to help if needed.

I volunteered to walk those seventy miles with you. As your mom, I needed to watch over you since some of the hikes came between flare-ups.

I also wanted this time together with you, before you decided that time with me wasn’t nearly as fun as time with friends.

So we hiked. On the Big Creek Greenway, over Kennesaw Mountain, around Dunwoody, through Atlanta, and along the Cherokee Trail at Stone Mountain. Sometimes you listened to your ipod. Sometimes we walked together in silence. Most often, we talked.

Because of Crohn’s, you have to work harder to get what you want. It doesn’t matter that you don’t feel good or are weak because of your meds or can’t sleep because of a flare-up. You still have to keep moving.

You decided you wanted to be an Eagle Scout just like your Dad when you were a Tiger Scout. And you followed through, until all that lay between you and beginning your Eagle Project was seventy miles.

You never balked. You put one foot in front of the other and finished what you began.

And now you’ve reached your goal. You’ve taken the road less traveled and achieved something rare and valuable.

Adam, my charge to you is to keep moving. Never balk because something you want is hard. Life is filled with obstacles, both expected and unexpected.

You’re an Eagle Scout. And I am very proud of you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mailbox Brigade.

My neighbors Sara, Allison, Tara, Lisa, and Sue and I put together 29 mailbox swags as part of the Mailbox Brigade benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. None of us claims to be  particularly gifted with floral arrangements. We made up for our lack of expertise with a lot of enthusiasm. A little design 101, bunches of evergreens and holly berries, a huge red or blue bow for each swag, and we had 29 lovely packages to deliver to mailboxes in our neighborhood.

My frigid, messy garage became the work site. At least we were out of the wind.

Mixing fir, magnolia, boxwood, and holly takes its toll on the hands. Note Allison is wearing gloves. I didn't. Guess whose hands AREN'T cut and covered with sap.

Clumps of greens bound together and ready for installation. They don't look like much here, but check out the finished product ...

The Knitternall mailbox looks really nice. The little card says we belong to the Community Friends supporting CHOA.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday, Adam

 Happy Birthday, Adam.

Your life is bookended by your passions.

From Thomas the Tank Engine to afficanado of anime, manga, and video gaming.

From Tiger to Eagle Scout.

From Dark Wing Duck to Mock Trial star.
From smocked john-johns to collector of snarky t-shirts (more than 40 and counting).

I look forward to watching you continue to grow and discover new passions as you step into adulthood.

Love, Mom.