Sunday, May 6, 2007

Renaming your children

I had no idea how much my second born resented being referred to as "The Boy Scout" until yesterday....he hit my home page and read about himself.

"Mom, I really, really HATE that you call me the Boy Scout in your blog!"

He caught me somewhat off guard, "Why does that bother you?"

"Well, you know how much I hate scouting. It seems like you're rubbing it in my face because you make me go."

Now before I get ugly emails, let me explain. We moved here 3 years ago May 31st. No family, (The Legal Adult had not moved up here yet), no church, no school friends...nobody. I met a scoutmaster at the bus stop that August, and he said my second born might enjoy scouting. Second born was on the bandwagon and became a Weblo. It was all good. Until he crossed over into Boy Scouts. Oh, my..the thought of having to work for merit badges, hike, do service projects, sell popcorn...was just too much for the Second Born. He wanted to quit. He was having personality conflicts with others in his troop. At this point, we have spent a lot of money in uniforms, camping equipment, and time for meetings. Previously in his life, I had let him get by with quiting, and I always regretted it. Back in Tennessee, he had been involved in baseball. We bought all the equipment, spent boo-koos of moola on registration fees, uniforms, athletic equipment, not to mention the time it takes for practice and games. After 4 years, he says he doesn't want to do it. And there you go, I let him quit.

This time was going to be different. He had made the commitment, he was going to see it through. Fortunately, I've not been alone in this. A special scout leader named Chip has been a great help. He was Second Born's scout leader, and he's the one I'm making the scout quilt for. He knew that S.B. didn't want to be there, but he also recognized, like me, that sometimes we make our kids finish something to get them ready for life. So, he's actually provided an incentive for S.B. to stay in scouting.

I know when he gets older, there are going to be jobs he hates, people he doesn't want to work with, and bosses he doesn't like. If I teach him that you just move on when something gets a little tough, he's not going to be prepared. So, I make him stay in, like it or not. And actually, for the most part, he really likes it. He just likes us all to believe that he doesn't so he can get out of the obligation.

I said all that to say this: no longer will the Second Born be referred to as The Boy Scout. With his kind permission, he will now be referred to in The Jury is Still Out as The Rock Star.


Rian said...

There are a whole lot worse names you could give a Rock Star kid than Boy Scout, but I get it. He's growing up.

Debra Spincic said...

I am a firm believer in the value of scouting (even for rock stars). Continue to encourage him to go all the way to Eagle. Both of my husbands are/were Eagle Scouts. My brother "quit" just before becoming an Eagle and now is kicking his A$$ all the way because now he is the Scoutmaster and his son is in Scouts. He also threw all his badges, awards and such in the trash during a particular period of his life and now sincerely regrets that too. (My former husband was always the scoutmaster too.)

kaliblue said...

I hope one day your son appreciates what you have tried to instill in him about not quitting. Like the new name too:-). He's a Rock Star!!!
Have a great day.

swooze said...

Good for you! I do the same with my kids. They commit, they stick it out!

emi said...

RS is at the age when every boy wants to quit scouting. It's a difficult transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and many don't make it because they expect it to be a continuation of Cubs and more of the same -- it isn't. Sometimes, it's harder for the parents to make the transition than the boy; they still want to think their son is still a little boy when he is in truth growing up and ready to learn the tools he will need as a man.

You are totally right to make him live up to his commitments. This is one of the most important lessons we can gift to our children. And he doesn't yet understand how important that "Eagle" rank will be to him in the future and what it will say about his character to others. That alone will open many doors and he will find others will respect him for this accomplishment.

Been out for a while, missed you.