March 03, 2013

HB Ringo... 18

This has been a crazy week in our home. I think the average person has a kid that turns 18 and it just happens.

We don't do things in a small way in this home.

Oh. No. We. Don't.

About a six weeks ago, my son's Scout Master realized my son was not going to make Eagle. He had two projects fall through, and then school got crazy, and with band, work, college apps, and just life... Ringo suddenly decided he was content to just be a Life Scout. He didn't need Eagle. He got into college. He was fine.

But his SM was not. When he fully realized that all the badges were complete, that Ringo had put in the time, he declared that a project WOULD be found, a meaningful project, as Ringo had thought of his first that didn't work.

And it was found, that the Rosary Garden at the church where my Mother in Law died saying the Rosary on the altar, was not a garden anymore. It was nothing recognizable. The Stones that were to represent the garden were in disrepair. It was... a mess.

A Rosary Garden is a Prayer Garden. There are benches for reflection and each stone represents a part of the Rosary. There are 'Five Decades'. Each of the five parts has 10 stones, each stone is a Hail Mary and each Decade is separated by an Our Father.

The rush was on to get the signatures. My son had to map it out, figure out the logistics of time, lay out, and materials. Signatures had to be gotten. And this was all done... three weeks ago. BSA had to approve the project. That was done within five days.

The guy from BSA told me, "We've had kids cut it close... but this is the closest I've ever experienced."

For those not in the know, your Eagle Scout Application MUST be at BSA HQ by your 18th birthday. His birthday is today. Which means it had to be there Friday. Which means that from the time it was approved until the time Ringo had to get his App in... it was less than two weeks.

An emergency email was sent to every family member explaining the project and how Ringo could not accept cash.

This project resonated deeply with the family.

Immediately my Mom and Dad offered to buy every single stone, in memory of my Mother in Law. Knowing that everyone in the family would participate, they held off, bought 35 of stones, and within 24 hours Ringo had all his stones.

By the time he was ready to start, one of his aunts had purchased all the sand.

We were living up at the church. Blogging has been scant due to this enormous project. I was the one picking up stones and sand from Lowes, while he was at school.

I was part of the support team.

He did a great job pulling it together. He and the Scouts worked tirelessly last weekend, pulling it together, and finishing last Sunday at 4PM before the rains came.

The finished product:


I have scads of pictures of the 'during', but there are scouts all over and I don't want to put their pix on the blog.

But here are a couple.

And here are Ringo and T getting ready to start putting down the sand.

Getting Ready for Sand.jpg

I'll probably blog more pictures of it, taking out faces, at a later time. But that's just the overview.

So he finished it on Sunday and then he got sick, and had tests, and come Wednesday he knew he had to get it all ready to go to BSA, however, he misunderstood something.

He thought that the Eagle Scout Project workbook was due and spent 4 hours on Wednesday putting together a power point on his project, creating an EXCEL spreadsheet regarding cost and materials and filling it out.

On a frickin' FLUKE, I showed up at Thursday night's meeting to see if he had his signatures and to make sure I didn't have any badges to sign off on for other kids. (I'm a badge counselor for Personal Fitness and Family Life.)

He came out at 815 and said, "Mom, there is a separate APPLICATION for Eagle!" So we ran to the library, filled it out on line, got back to Scouts before the meeting ended at 9, had the rest of the signatures finished, and then I turned it in on Friday.

He's happy it's done. I just think he took Screaming Eagle to a whole new level. His brother wants no part of that... he will be finishing next year.

I have pix from his birthday, but haven't downloaded them yet as it's been just too busy. We have family in town so it was a BIG celebration, with my sister in law nearly breaking down in tears that he's going off to college in a few months.

That's supposed to be me crying, right? I'm wondering what's wrong with me. Why am I not wringing my hands?

I would be remiss not to put one current picture up. This was taken last month. His nickname at school for awhile was, "Smile".

Ringo Smile.jpg

He's a good kid. He's coming into his own slowly. He's sick of high school and all the crap and drama that comes with it. He has probably the worst case of senioritis I've ever seen. He truly has low tolerance for the stupid rules and attitudes of teachers.

He sees through the BS and he has grown to hate it all.

He's marking time, graduation being 13 May.

He's ready.

And so... to my son, Ringo, on his 18th I say, "Happy Birthday, Ringo. Should all the young men in this world be loved as much as you... I suspect that there would be far fewer problems and this world would be a much better place."

I love you, son.

Posted by Boudicca at March 3, 2013 11:32 PM

I've got tears in my eyes. Your adult son did good and he has a family that must be so proud of him.

Posted by: AC at March 4, 2013 01:16 AM

Wow. Screaming Eagle is right. But look at the results. Awesome. I'm the one crying. My sitter that could drive is moving on... sniff sniff... Hopefully your other son will want to sit occasionally.

Posted by: vwbug at March 4, 2013 06:00 AM

He still has his Eagle Board to go! This coming from an Eagle Scout an d one who has sat on many boards. I hope that just before his ceremony you remind him of this story:

Congratulations, you win at being a mom, and your boys will be better men for it.

Posted by: Web at March 4, 2013 08:42 AM

I knew there was a reason you had not posted this by 10pm last night.

Posted by: The Thomas at March 4, 2013 08:44 AM

It is truly beautiful.....the cross at the start is really stunning. Excellent job!!!!! What a nice way to say the rosary.

Posted by: Trudy at March 4, 2013 09:26 AM

happy bday Ringo!
great job on the Eagle project.

Posted by: writersblock at March 4, 2013 09:46 AM

Bou, I love your posts.

Happy Birthday, Ringo! Great job on your project!!

Posted by: Peggy K at March 4, 2013 06:12 PM

That boy has class and then some. Happy birthday to him!

Posted by: Mrs. Who at March 4, 2013 06:44 PM

A slightly belated HB Ringo. Congratulations on finishing such a fantastic Eagle Scout project! Lesson learned... try not to cut everything so close ;)

Posted by: Teresa at March 4, 2013 10:46 PM

HB Ringo. What a wonderful project, so thoughtful and respectful of family and faith.

Posted by: Tina at March 5, 2013 12:19 AM

Wow just wow. I teared up when you told how your parents offered to buy all the stones. And how the family - from all sides pulled together.
Happy birthday, Ringo.

Posted by: Jody at March 5, 2013 07:59 AM

Wonderful young man, awesome project! Happy Birthday, Ringo! With your intelligence, honor and drive you can do anything!

Posted by: pam at March 5, 2013 04:06 PM

First, congratulations Ringo, whether by the skin of your teeth or well before, it is an endeavor. The focus is on the Eagle project, but it is a process that takes years of work. Over the years the boy has to do earn the various ranks, merit badges, participate in troop camping events, community help activities, and countless other things. These take place over years, years where he is young and immature at the beginning and much less so by the end.

So, whether by the skin of your teeth or comfortably ahead, congratulations on a difficult achievement.

Along the way, he turns 16. Cars, girl friends, work, school, and other things start to intrude, demanding time, effort, and energy. These distractions have been the downfall of many a boy on his way to Eagle. It requires a desire to forge on and stay involved in scouting and commit to making Eagle.

I told the boys in my troop that being an Eagle Scout is the only thing that you can do as a boy that actually means something to the world when you're a man. There are many things that you can do as a man, like being in SF. But you cannot go back and become an Eagle once you turn 18. By then it's too late. Being an Eagle means that you have a tendency towards commitment to a goal. Starting as a kid and carrying over as a man.

So, regardless of the timing, congratulations on a difficult achievement.

Posted by: marcus erroneous at March 5, 2013 09:58 PM

Happy, happy birthday!!!

Posted by: PeggyU at March 6, 2013 05:16 AM

Happy Birthday Ringo!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy experiencing life to it's fullest extent!!!!

Posted by: Quality Weenie at March 6, 2013 10:54 AM

Happiest of birthdays to Ringo! Eighteen trips around the Sun is no small accomplishment... and it's clear that Ringo is doing things to make the world better for his having been here, something to which we all should aspire.

Posted by: Elisson at March 6, 2013 11:02 AM

and my how he grew.....FAST, it all goes too fast.

Posted by: AWTM at March 6, 2013 11:11 PM