Last night I was humbled at our Boy Scout Troop Semi-Annual Court of Honor where each scout is honored for their achievements over the previous six months of activities. Whether they are older scouts ready to age out and move on or young and new to the troop, each enjoys that brief moment of recognition. Regardless of abilities the scouts depart with a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem.
I generally hang out in the back with my fellow Assistant Scoutmasters and view, cheer, and clap, from a distance…..until my name was called to come forward and receive my own unexpected award.
Many years ago (almost 15), I left my career with the Department of Navy to stay home with my 2 and then 3 boys to provide for their care and support my wife in her career. While I have never regretted that decision, there are times when I wonder where I might be now had I stayed on. As any primary care provider will attest, it gets a little old with the same routine; dishes, laundry, meals, driving to activities, and general lawn and home care. It can and does get tedious and boring.
But then, the opportunity has allowed me to dedicate time to both my children and other kids as well…..and I think they are better for it.
Below is the wording that came with just a small Scout Knott Patch for me to wear above my pocket on my olive colored scout shirt. This patch will serve to remind me of the decision I made years ago and why I do what I do. To be seen as a positive role model in a young child’s life will always mean more to me then the career I could have had.
Thank you to those in the Troop who put in for this award. I will wear it proudly. And from the bottom of my heart, “thank you” dear Laura, my wife, without whom I would have never have had this opportunity. I love you.