For the first time in - um... well, I am not sure - but in all likelihood for the first time since they boys became Boy Scouts, I gathered up their uniforms, broke out their (formal) sashes, updated their patches, then cleaned and pressed all aspects of their uniforms. They (the uniforms) looked GREAT!
You hear all about "hockey moms" or "sports dads" (which I am not) - but I certainly consider myself a "Scout Dad". I was never a Scout myself - something I still regret. I am not a Scoutmaster, or even an Assistant Scout Master (which I would LOVE to do if it was not for my inconsistent work schedule). I do involve myself with my boy's troop as much as I can afford to. I am fortunate enough to be able to share in their Scouting experiences.
The "Crossing Over" ceremony involves the young Cub Scouts on one side of a small wooden bridge with their parents, and the (older) Boy Scouts and their Scoutmaster on the other. As the ceremony progresses, the parents remove the Cub Scout "colors" from their son's uniform, then they send him over the bridge where he is met by the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts stand behind the candidate - then place the new Boy Scout "colors" on his uniform and give him his new Boy Scout Handbook - signifying his transformation from a Cub Scout into a Boy Scout, and the acceptance of the new Boy Scout into their Troop. It's all very symbolic of a little boy becoming an older boy - and taking his first steps into manhood.
As I watched this ceremony (as I have many times previously),
I really began wondering where the time has gone.
You see, #2 of 5 is only a few requirements away from earning the rank of "Life Scout". As a Life Scout, #2 of 5 begins his preparation for becoming an Eagle Scout (The next rank following Life Scout).
#3 of 5 is right on his heels, and is only waiting for the next "Court of Honor" ceremony to officially be promoted to "Star Scout". He is already working on some of the Merit Badge requirements needed to earning his "Life Scout"... If I am lucky, I will be having two Eagle Scouts in my house in the next couple of years. That also means that my boys are growing up... and (way too) quickly.
As I watched the ceremony, it was the first time I really noticed how young these new Scouts appeared to me - I really noticed the significant age difference between (my) older Scouts and these (new) younger Scouts.
Yet how can it be, that when I look at my boys, I still seem to see the same little guys I remember sending over the bridge as they took their first steps towards manhood. When I look at my boys, time seems to have both stood still, and somehow fast-forwarded.
The Mother of Five was right all those years back... Back when I wondered what my boys would be like when they were older, often wishing they were older and doing older boy things. She warned me to be careful - that it would happen, and all to fast. I disregarded it as "maternal sentiment" - but now that I am REALLY starting to notice, I can see that she was right.
Not only was she was right, but now it's too late to go back.