Pride In His Work

My youngest son has recently joined Cub Scouts.  Wolf Scouts to be specific.  He is thrilled to join the den and I am thrilled that he has an avenue through which he may make some friends outside of Occupational therapy sessions.

He loves the Cub Scout uniform shirt, he loves the idea of camping, but he is especially fascinated with the idea of earning badges (I guess this ties in pretty well with all of those behavioral positive reinforcement charts we’ve had over the years).  So, every couple of nights we look through the Wolf book and complete a few of the badge requirements. 

“Let’s go to my work now, Mommy.”

     “Your work, Sweetie?”

“My Wolf work, Mommy.  I need some badges!”

So we work on earning some badges.  The first was the “Family Fun” badge, then the “Duty to God” badge.  Accomplishing these requirements is a source of great pride for my son.  In a world where he is usually labeled as “behind” and “delayed”, where play dates are superceded by therapy sessions, and where he is starting to realize that there are significant differences between him and his typical peers, he has found a place where he can earn tokens of accomplishment just like other kids.  Tokens that mean something to his typical peers.  Tokens that show he can participate in their world.  These are a big deal, my friend.  They are proof that he belongs.  

As we mark off each item, he supervises my signature on each line to make sure I get it right.  “Very good letters, Mommy,” he says, repeating the phrase that we parrot night after night, encouraging him to mind his handwriting while he does his school homework.

The night that he finished these two badge requirements he made sure he included a report in his bedtime prayers… “I earned two badges God!  I did (what were they Mommy?)… I did the Fun badge and my Duty to you badge!  Are you proud of me, God?”

I think my son is proud of his work… and God is proud of HIS work, too.

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Mommy Comparison

My older son (typical kid) has a good friend (R) who lives in the house behind ours (or we live behind them, as he pointed out to me recently).  These boys are inseparable.  They are best friends and they talk about everything that may be on their minds.

One evening at the dinner table my son wanted to tell us about a conversation they had had that very afternoon.  It was one of those good natured conversations where they start to compare things in their lives to see who had it “better” than the other.

My son started with “We were talking about how R’s Mommy is prettier than you.  She is really pretty,” he declared.  He looked a bit smug.  I think I raised an eyebrow followed by a slight cringe as I imagined what might next come out of his mouth.

My husband looked ready to intervene in order to salvage my ego when my son continued with “Yeah, but we agreed that my Mommy could heavy punch his Mommy.” 

He sat back with a grin on his face and I saw all the pride shining in his eyes.  My cup runneth over.

Well, I thought, what more do you need to know?

Pretty is as pretty does… in a young boy’s mind at least.

Note to my gentle readers: No, I do not “heavy punch” people.  I don’t think I’ve thrown a punch in my entire adult life (although I may have tried to punch one of my brothers at some point when we were kids… I don’t remember it but I admit it is possible).  I do not advocate punching people nor pets nor trees nor anything.  Punching is violence and punching is bad, unless you are being attacked in which case please don’t not punch just to be polite.  Punch and scream and kick and yell and get away.  There – did I cover it all?