Posted by: morrowsl | January 30, 2019

Building a Good Human

When I was unpacking the last of the totes we’d moved to Remote from the city house, I found the remnants of a building project. To raise money to send our son to the Boy Scout Jamboree one year, Mike had helped Marc make Wren and Bluebird houses to sell. I have no idea how many they made. Or if the sales covered the costs. Or if they made enough profit to pay for the trip. I do know everyone in our family had one or two. My parents and Mike’s had several. And the last of them ended up in our garage to be moved to Remote all these years later.

My son joined the Cub Scouts while in grade school and somehow landed in the company of a great group of boys under strong leadership. The troop was well supported by one of the local churches. The parents, and especially the fathers, were dedicated to guiding these boys, but also to letting them navigate the twists and turns and obstacles of growing up at their own pace and in their own manner. My husband eventually became involved, as did I to a smaller degree.

Our son went on to become an Eagle Scout. All of the effort and time and money and joy and frustrations that went into the progression from Cub to Eagle have been repaid in spades. He became a fireman and has grown his career into a life-long dedication to helping his community and standing with his brothers in the department.

Those early lessons haven’t left him. He still loves the outdoors. Is still willing to try almost anything at least once. As a boy, he threw caution to the wind in exchange for the adrenaline rush of going faster or higher. His first extreme injury required stitches, to his forehead. The scar is still there. As is the scar from a split chin that cost him a baby tooth. He has had knee surgery on both knees from soccer injuries. He once came home from batting practice with a chipped tooth, but no split lip. He told me he did that because he was smiling at the baseball. I’m sure there are other stories I don’t know.
Thankfully, the adrenaline dependence has been tempered slightly with age. I suspect running into burning buildings or rushing to save someone’s life may be enough of a rush these days.

He is raising two daughters. Twins. There was never a question he would have kids eventually. The only real question was, would he raise his girls in the same manner as his boys, should he have the choice. We’ll never know. When they realized they were getting twins, it was decided that those would be their only two children, regardless.

I have watched my son as a father and I am exceedingly proud of how he handles it. His daughters have been taught from the very beginning to be loving and fair, but also strong and brave. As toddlers, they were taken outdoors in their snowsuits to slide down icy slopes. They learned to swim, then spent as many days in water over their heads as summer could offer. They started playing soccer as soon as they could join a league. They are still on the same outdoor team, still the only girls on the team, still in the boy league.
And they are on a competition team in Jiu Jitsu. They love to fish. And play in the dirt.
At the same time, they recently got their ears pierced. They love wearing pretty dresses and fancy shoes. They are just about old enough to learn to cook. They already know how to wash dishes. They draw pictures of hearts and flowers. They love butterflies.

If you had told me, thirty-odd years ago, that the boy I was raising would some day have twin daughters, I would probably have laughed and possibly have even snorted. When I looked down the road my son was running, all I could see was a never-ending list of medical bills and scars.

It’s good to know I was wrong on that one.

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Birdhouse built by Marc and Mike.


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