Sep 13, 2011
For the first time in 9 months, I almost didn’t post today. It’s not that I had writer’s block or anything, it’s just that the Dog Walker wrote such an amazing post yesterday, I wasn’t anxious to have something replace it. His Court of Honor was an incredible experience for me. We’d worked so long and hard on this goal that I wanted him to feel like it was something special. I had most things ready by Sunday morning. I only had to stay up until about 3:00 AM to finish my talk. When I finally fell into bed, it was a troubled sleep. The one thing he wanted more than anything, just a little bit of fame, I couldn’t give him. He wasn’t satisfied with just appearing on my blog. And our family interview about the blog didn’t work either. He wanted to be in the spotlight even for just a brief moment. I explained to him that fame is a fleeting thing, but I sent out the media releases anyway and waited all week for word.
By Sunday morning, I had heard nothing…until KSL’s reporter, Sandra Yi, called me! She wanted to interview us and then they were still planning to send someone to the Court of Honor. It didn’t help that we were heading out to three hours of church, and during the first hour, just my kids were scheduled to sing as a group for the congregation. But right after their song, I tugged his arm and we slipped out the back door. His scout clothes were in the van and he changed quickly in the restroom. The interview lasted about an hour although the actual footage on the morning news lasted about 2 minutes.
Church ended at 4:00 and the Court of Honor started at 6:00. We had gathered up all sorts of props to show the different badges and all the hard work. We even took in a huge blow-up raft and a tent complete with a sleeping bag! His bike, his backpack, his scuba gear…anything we could think of that told about his scouting journey. We had four 12-foot tables that held 59 one-inch binders full of handwritten answers and pictures to prompt his memory when he met with each Merit Badge Counselor.
The Dog Walker prepared a slide show that started when he was an 11-year-old scout and ended just this week when he finished the last two badges. Then the kids living at home surprised him with a flash-mob dance to the scout song. He was so gracious and so grown up and only a little bit autistic. When they presented his final badges, the entire room gave him a standing ovation and he stood there, overwhelmed, and then he waved to the crowd of approximately 200 people. It was perfect. I’ll just leave you today with a little excerpt from my talk. Maybe then you can understand how important this goal was for all of us, not just him. I changed all the real names to blog names to help you keep everybody straight.
We have all enjoyed many camping trips together, cooking outside, fishing, rafting. Last summer we loaded up all the kids and drove to Denver for a whitewater rafting trip just so he could add that badge to his collection. Even the Gym Rat joined us for that excursion. He has the patience of Job! I was extremely pregnant with Baby Doll, so I was not allowed on the raft and my sweetie doesn’t do that sort of thing, so the Gym Rat took Teach, the Dog Walker, Princess, Prima Donna, Crafty, and Sport out on the whitewater. He even brought them all home safely although there was some talk of Sport falling off the raft several times and them having to haul him back in. Oh, and when they were working on rescue techniques, Crafty got to be the drowning person. She’s a pretty good actress.
To earn the rowing badge we bought some inflatable rafts and took them out to Daybreak Lake. The kids had so much fun paddling them all over the lake…until security came by and told us we were breaking the rules and we’d have to leave. By then we had completed all the requirements, but the kids enjoyed it so much that we took them camping with us this summer and they spent hours rowing all over a tiny lake up Ephraim Canyon.