March 10, 2011

Baseball, Scouts and... Clams

I have not missed my father in law, since he passed in August... until today. It is the truth, as sad and not nice as it is, it is the truth.

My brother in law was a very good baseball player. He was a pitcher for the school that my eldest boy now attends. This year... the school is 50 years old. There have been various celebrations, but this weekends is a 50th anniversary of the baseball team with a 50 year team. My brother in law made the team. (They don't play, just are honored.)

My father in law would have eaten it up. He LOVED watching my brother in law play baseball. He was like... the team Dad. He drove those boys everywhere, to practices, to games, all over. I think he was even the team doctor.

They were happy years for Pop, those baseball years. He'd love to reminisce about them.

He'd have been so proud of my brother in law, making that team. He'd have gone to all the celebrations and bragged to all his friends.

Today... I missed him.

We're going as a family to see the introduction of the celebration with my brother in law and the others that were selected. Pop's presence will be noticeably absent to us...

There is a Scout in Scouts with my eldest that has had a tough life. Life has not been easy for him... a tough road from the get go. I think his Mom is a drug addict. I know his Dad has a drinking problem. The kid has been in and out of trouble... and the only stable influence this kid has had... I do believe is Scouting.

He's dropped out of high school and is taking the GED. (Long story I'm not getting into here... but it was a good choice.) He struggles with the Math. He really really struggles with it.

He has two goals... he wants to pass the GED and after that, he wants to be a Marine. He's already talked to the Marine recruiter who said he really NEEDS to get the math right. He REALLY needs to improve his math and then they'll talk.

This boy NEEDS the Marines. He said to me today, "I'd do it for free, M'am. They don't have to pay me. I'd do it for free, fight for my Country with other Americans. I hope they give me a chance to be a Marine..."

It's not the money. It's not to have a job. He truly wants to be a Marine.

He has one Eagle Merit badge left to get and his Eagle project. The badge he has left to get is the one I am the counselor for. This young man is now on my radar. He'll have his badge because I'm about to live in his life. I got his cell number. He took the initiative to seek me out on two fronts... one, I'm the badge counselor, and two, I'd told him once I'd help him with his math.

So I'm going to be meeting him at the local library on weekdays, maybe during my lunch, to figure out how to make the math make sense.

I told one of the ScoutMasters today, "Of all the boys we have, this one NEEDS Scouts. He NEEDS his Eagle Scout. He NEEDS the Marines. This boy NEEDS us."

I'm worried, I'll be honest. I'm worried that it is a real learning disability and not years of neglect. I'm doing research on how to figure out ways to get simple Algebra through to him. I'll do anything it takes.

I so... want this boy to be a Marine. If you're a praying type, throw this kid in your prayers. He is a good kid, a kind kid, a kid with a good heart, but who is easily influenced. He's good looking and polite, probably one of the most respectful young men I've ever met.

He'd make a good Marine. Pray for this kid... and that I can find what I need to give him the guidance so he can make it all come together in his head.

I'll keep you posted...


This clam has been the video of choice today for my family. My brother sent us a couple of them and I can't quit laughing... Enjoy.

Posted by Boudicca at March 10, 2011 11:09 PM

If anyone can help that boy, you can. I have faith, but I'm sending some extra prayers in case anyone up there is listening.

Posted by: Teresa at March 10, 2011 11:33 PM

I'm not sure if your looking for advise, but here is mine. Anyone will learn faster if the task is fun and not stressfull. Do try to assess him first to really make sure he knows +-/* and keep a positive attitude about your own abilities to teach.

May God bless your work.

Posted by: AC at March 11, 2011 12:54 AM

Hey, if I can help, let me know. On either marines or math. Don't forget trajectory of a bullet is a good learning device. ;-)

Posted by: vwbug at March 11, 2011 05:33 AM

Praying for both of you! You're the best, Bou. You saw his great need and stepped forward... It takes a special person to do what you did.

Keep us updated!

Posted by: pam at March 11, 2011 11:15 AM

With the desire, I'm betting that the math will work it's way through. And that clam stunt must require some strength.

Posted by: Carl Brannen at March 11, 2011 06:59 PM

I think you are probably the best person to help him, and the fact that he sought you out, he will be much more receptive to it. I will be praying for him and for guidance for you.

Posted by: Tina at March 12, 2011 01:36 PM

Prayers for you and the young aspiring Marine... I know you will do all that is humanly possible...

Thanks for ending with the clam... I really needed the laugh.

Posted by: jck at March 13, 2011 06:03 PM

I know you are fully capable of teaching him algebra. I hope it works. As a suggestion, check out where Mr. Khan has put together over 2,100 videos explaining many school questions, a lot of which are algebra. You may find a video that can help him out. Good luck to you; he's lucky to have you behind him.
And P.S. -- what's the word from the school choices in your family?

Posted by: Suzanne at March 13, 2011 07:57 PM