Part of me said "he's just a super active boy, it's normal" and another part of me said "wow, this kid is unlike any other little kid I have ever known."
At the time, we decided to keep him in a private pre-school for kindergarten (full day) instead of enrolling him in the public school kindergarten. Many factors worked in on that decision, such as day length, class size, amount of teachers and everything. I knew he'd do better with the private K that he was in, and dreaded sending him to first grade. I would have kept him at the private school if they had a K-3 program.
Cub Scouts was challenging. Small group format, 6 boys total in 2 dens, 2 den mothers per den, and I always stayed with Geoff's den to help. Because I had "that kid" who always needed the extra help and external conscience and guidance.
One day while going to his Webelos meeting he decided he wasn't going to wear his uniform to the meeting. Uniforms were only for the special occasions like Pack meetings. They had never worn their uniforms to den meetings but his den mother was trying to get them used to the idea of always wearing their "Class A" uniforms to get them ready for Boy Scouts the following March. Geoff and I had a huge fight about it, and I asked him if he would just rather quit Boy Scouts and be done with it.
He told me yes. Then as I turned the car around to head back to the house he said "No, I'll wear my uniform." So we went to the meeting, and he stayed in Scouting.
Doug says he recalls Geoff telling him shortly after he joined the BSA Troop that he was going to be an Eagle Scout. Doug found that slightly entertaining at the time. I was just happy that he wanted to continue to be a Scout at all.
Boy Scouts was a lot different than what he'd been experiencing with Cub Scouts. It was a big Troop, and all the boys were together, of all ages, 10 to 17, and Geoff and his fellow incoming Scouts were like a big pack of puppies, a herd of kittens, that older Scouts had to wrangle and convince to do things and listen and participate. It looked frustrating to me as a mom to watch the older boys trying to work with Geoff's patrol.
Of the boys who joined, one by one they dropped out of the program until it was just Geoff and Brendan. Another boy from their grade who wasn't in Cub Scouts joined a couple years in, Max, but out of the original Den 3 and Den 7 from the class of 2015 it was just Geoff and Brendan...
Both dedicated themselves to finishing up as Eagles.
You all have followed the past couple of months where I have outlined the project, I've stressed over him getting things done. I've supported, shoved and cajoled.
We managed to get a couple small smiles out of him for pictures but the smile on his face when they congratulated him is etched in my mind forever. A great big huge grin, ear to ear, all teeth. Pure and happy.
We didn't doubt he'd be able to do it. We didn't think for a minute they'd decline him. It was just super stressful getting him to this point and through it all.
Last weekend, I wondered "What are we going to do with our time now that this is done...?" I guess now we plan that Eagle Court of Honor ceremony.
When Geoff was a Cub Scout he learned the Cub Scout oath (also known as the promise) and law. Those are:
I promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To help other people, and to obey the Law of the Pack.
Law of the Pack
The Cub Scout follows Akela.
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.
Who is Akela? It comes from the Jungle Book of all places. Akela is a leader to the Cub. A Cubmaster, Den mother or father, other adult leader, and the Cub's parents. A symbol of leadership, wisdom, comfort, protection. The pack of children are guided and guarded by the Akela... and I think I made a good Akela through all of this process. And continuing into Boy Scouts, I think that I did a decent job continuing to be an Akela... for me, watching Geoff through this whole process I don't see the Eagle Scout at the end.
I see the Wolf Cub at the beginning. And I always will.