This is going to be a short entry because I am exhausted! But it is a good kind of exhaustion.
The past couple of Sundays, I have written about my own kids . . . today I am thankful for my youngest nephew. I am exhausted because this afternoon was a very special day in this young man’s life: His Court of Honor to commemorate his attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout.
Did you know that out of 100 boys who join Boy Scouts, only two will continue and earn the lifetime distinction of being Eagle Scouts? It is a very rigorous path, punctuated by service, acquisition of many and varied skills, demonstrated commitment to the principals and characteristics espoused by the Boy Scouts of America, and culminates in the completion of a major project.
My nephew’s project was the design and construction of landscaped planters in the patio area of his middle school which constituted a major improvement to the campus and provided a place for students to congregate safely during lunch and break periods.
In addition to this major accomplishment, he is a scholar — he has a GPA in excess of 4.0 due to the many advanced placement courses he has taken during his high school years and is an fine trumpet player who was selected to be a member of the county, regional and state honor bands. He is also an accomplished marksman, having done extremely well in shotgun shooting competitions.
A shy young man with a gentle spirit, I knew from the day he was born that my nephew was special and, as my mother used to say, “different from the other three.” Believers in reincarnation describe this young man as the epitome of an “old soul.” In fact, he was so quiet and shy as a very young child that my father would ask, “Is he ever going to talk?” He stalled completion of his Eagle project and protested even having a Court of Honor because, unlike so many people in this celebrity-driven culture we live in, for him it is definitely not “all about me.” He is extremely uncomfortable being in the spotlight and incredibly modest about his phenomenal accomplishments. But he has a dry wit with which he constantly catches me off-guard and sends me into fits of laughter, and an inherent sense of justice and fair play that deeply upsets him if someone is needlessly or cruelly mistreated or hurt in some way.
Did I mention that this was the second Court of Honor we’ve had in our family? In 2002, we had another ceremony to honor his older brother who achieved the rank of Eagle in late 2001.
So I am blessed not only to have great kids, but also to have two wonderful nephews of whom I am very proud. I love them as though they were my own kids and, as my sister said at the ceremony today, if I ever find myself in a crisis, I have two Eagles in my family to whom I can look for support, assistance, and the ability to reason calmly in the face of difficult circumstances. After all, a Scout is nothing if not prepared!
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