Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Eagle Court Parent Dilemma
Re: Eagle Court Parent Dilemma
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 13:43:03 -0400
> Hi all,
> I appeal to the huge experience base of the list.
> There is a boy in my troop, oh, OK, so it's my kid, who will be planning his
> Eagle COH (yay!!) for summer/fall. Common problem: divorced parents.
> I am, as some of you know, the SA & mom. My husband, God bless him, has been
> son's father-in-place since boy was 5 yrs old (11+yrs), has actively
> supported both of us in Scouting since Tigers, had two sons of his own who
> are Eagle, was the kid's Webelos 2 leader and went to the Troop, has worked
> into other positions and is now district chmn. Father has been in regular
> (too darn regular if you ask me... oh, sorry) contact, takes kid for
> expensive vacations and spends tons of money but lives on the other side of
> the continent and has had little to do with actual upbringing (although of
> course he takes FULL credit for how well the kid has turned out <G>).
> Son wants me to be in uniform and have some speaking part in the ceremony,
> which is OK w/ me because I think it's his call and I'll do what he wants for
> this one <G>. He wants hubby to do some spoken part too, which is a thrill
> for him. Father is asked only to show up (and *if* it's convenient w/ his
> business travel, he probably will).
> Question is, how to handle the "father's pin" thing? Hubby has been the kid's
> father in more ways than one, including the usual adolescent-dad stressor
> thing, and kid wants to recognize this by giving him a dad pin. Of course,
> though, there's the dad too. Hubby's main point is that he doesn't want the
> dad pin if awarded side-by-side with father, as he feels it would cheapen it,
> and I have to agree with his feelings here.
> Son doesn't want to insult dad by not giving him an actual "father's" pin,
> being as he is the actual father with whom he has a decent relationship, even
> though it is more like one of uncle-nephew than actual parent.
> As for me, I divorced the sob because of abuse issues, which the kid is
> unaware of, and I don't like being in the same room with him if I can help
> it, but I am perfectly wiling to put on a pleasant face and deal with it for
> an hour or two for kid's sake even if it would annoy me to be up front and
> have him get a dad's pin in the same pgh I get the mom's one.
> Any experience with dealing with the two-men issues in CoH? Any creative
> Auntie Beans
> SA T47 Sandwich MA
> Cape Cod & Islands Council
> Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
> NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
> I useta be an Eagle...
> 'The staff is old and feeble, and we can sing no more,
> So we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'
Sounds like a really tough situation, but maybe the place to look for a solution
is in the "wedding etiquette" books? I know I've seen Miss Manners answer
similar questions about father/step-father of the bride issues.
Your husband seems to be a terrific guy, and it seems it would be obvious to
everyone who really knows your son and your family that he is the one who has
been a real father to your son. Instead of letting yourselves feel that it would
cheapen "hubby-dad's" pin if the birth-dad receives one too, could you perhaps
see this as an indication of the wonderful generosity of the kid you've raised
together? Kids KNOW the value of what their parents give them. I would bet that
your son is pretty well aware of who has really brought him to where he is, but
is generous enough not to want to hurt someone who has also been part of his
life, even if in a more limited way.
After all, you can bet that at the end of the ceremony, all the congratulations
will be pouring in to your and your husband!
(Look at it as good practice for his wedding, and hey, probably the SOB won't
show up anyway!)