There are several things about today that I will always treasure. First and foremost, it was such a great day for Sam. When he was actually awarded the rank, his fellow Scouts rose to their feet in a standing ovation that was just a joy to behold. He gave a wonderful, heart-felt speech about what Scouting had meant to him, and I was so proud of him!! The whole day just highlighted what a great young man he has become. I am so fortunate to have him for a kid!
The 100 or so people who were there were a wonderful cross-section from his life, and from ours. His Cubmaster was there, with his family. And tons of his fellow Scouts and leaders from our troop, of course. Two of the leaders who went with him on his trip to National Jamboree were there, and two of the leaders who were with him at World Jamboree. His music teacher from the high school came, and our priest gave the invocation and benediction. Both grandmothers made it, along with an uncle and a couple aunts. But there were also a couple of my work friends there, and several of Bob's buds from his Boy Scout involvement. A few close friends from church made it, along with a couple we've been friends with for about 20 years. The presence of all those folks from different aspects of our lives really warmed my heart. It made me appreciate, once again, how richly blessed we are to have all those wonderful people in our lives.
Warren deserves a special tip of the hat, too. He quit smoking 10 days ago and is still really struggling with the physical symptoms of withdrawal. So I know that sitting through a ceremony like that did not come easily to him, nor did the full weekend of being asked to do extra chores at home or dealing with a bunch of our relatives he didn't know. But he rose to the occasion beautifully. He seemed genuinely supportive of Sam in his moment in the sun and was very cooperative with all that was asked of him. Under the circumstances, I know it took a pretty heroic level of effort to achieve that, and I am grateful both for his effort and that he is a part of our family.
The day is over now. I have leftover food to put away, and tomorrow we pick back up with life as we know it. So it's back to the demands of work and school, to over-scheduling and too little sleep, to trying to lose weight but not too awfully hard. Warren continues to fight nicotine withdrawal and we continue to try to have his back. In many ways, nothing is changed. But Sam has a reason to stand a little more proudly than he did yesterday, and we all have a reason to remember how blessed our lives are. So in a way, everything has changed – it's just a little bit better!