Friday, August 26, 2011

Boy Scouts and the Single Mom

Another milestone.

Last night I brought my son to his first Boy Scout meeting.  As a mom (and a not very handy mom), I have been nervous about this little venture (and got even more nervous when the leader brightly talked about how much fun it is so show your son how to use a saw.  Saw??? I can’t even sew.  Which, incidentally, also disqualifies me to be a Girl Scout mom). 

And as a single mom, I’ve been worried about the time commitment and whether I can commit to all of the kids’ activities and get them there on my own.  The logistics alone are something I should really send to the Pentagon to figure out.

But knowing that this is something my son wants to do and knowing that ultimately this will probably be something that will help him in his “manhood,” I’ve decided to give up whatever life I had before (not much) and sign him up.

Last night’s meeting was hard.  And what made it worse was that I wasn’t expecting it to be.  You guys know what I’m talking about:  I’ve gotten to where the “big” things don’t bother me as much because I’m expecting them.  It’s the little things that I’m not looking out for that come up and bite me in the ass.

Being a Boy Scout was a big deal to my husband growing up.  Both he and his brother are Eagle Scouts (and for someone who didn’t make it past year 2 of the Brownies...I understand that significance).  He was all about service to his country and his community, so when we moved to Colorado years and years ago, one of the first things he started doing was volunteering with the Boy Scouts who met at our church.

And we didn’t even have kids yet.

Listening to the leader last night talk about the projects, campouts, and family activities, I had that feeling that so many of us get:  Why oh why is he not here to do this with us???    How am I going to do this?  I can’t even sew on the badges!

I’ve been trying to remind myself this morning to take things one at a time and not borrow trouble and worry before it’s necessary (pre-worrying is just part of my DNA).  For goodness sake...the Boy Scouts are a service organization.  Surely I can borrow a dad every once in awhile if we need someone to show us how to build a cabin using nothing but chewing gum and a paperclip or how to trap dinner with our bare hands!

If there’s anything I can tell you for sure about widowhood is that it tests and completely disintegrates our comfort zone.  And sometimes that’s not such a bad thing.  Who knows??  Maybe I’ll be so handy with a saw that I’ll find my second career (although I will say...if you don’t hear from me for awhile it may be because I found out I’m not so handy with a saw and typing has become a thing of the past).

It’s nights like last night when I wonder if the situation were reversed...would he be doing this better than I am?  If I were gone, would he feel as “fish out of water” as I feel all the time?  And then I realized that if he were here right now instead of me, he’d be diving out of his own comfort zone this weekend with one of our daughters.

Bra shopping.

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