Isn’t it funny how life sometimes lines everything up just right for us to see? Those moments when The Big Guy Upstairs makes it so easy that we can’t help but trip on what He’s trying to show us. Much of Scout Camp led to one moment that touched me so deeply that I was moved to happy tears.
The day that Gavin made his comment about me always being his buddy was one of the best days of being a dad that I’ve ever had. In addition to the comment it was an amazing day that I’ll hold precious for all of my life. We had so much fun, the three of us, it was fantastic father son time. In between the comment and kayaking there were many other things we did together that led to that moment I’ll hold in my heart.
In the afternoon we went to the handicraft area to work on Gavin’s viking ship. While he was doing that Dominic decided to do some leather stamping. I’d had an idea earlier so I had brought along the leather knife belt sheath kit I’d picked up earlier in the day. Once Dominic was done I asked him to put a particular design on my case to remind me of this trip. He smiled from ear to ear and was happy to do it. Once completed he asked me if I’d like to have him do more to decorate it and I told him to do whatever he felt was appropriate. For me the most important part was already there… an intermingling of our three sets of initials and the year.
After Gavin had finished his ship he wanted to leather stamp his knife case, but the instructor said that only Boy Scouts who’d completed the Leatherwork merit badge could use the equipment. Understanding the reasons Gavin asked Dominic to decorate it for him. I then spent the next fifteen minutes watching Dominic work the leather under the instruction of Gavin. They shared ideas, worked as a team, and ended up with an incredible piece of work. As Gavin told Dominic, “you made it look even better than the picture on the box!” Sitting back and seeing he two of them work together left me smiling.
After that we went to camp, met as a den, went to dinner, and then got ready for the pool party. Not wanting to miss it, but knowing that the boys didn’t need Dad right with them I brought my unfinished knife sheath to the poolside and proceeded to put it together as I sat in a chair watching he boys and smiling at the sound of their laughter. While putting it together I bought of Dad a lot. I remembered my experiences at camp with him, I thought of him showing the boys how to do wood burning, and remembered stories of him doing crafts when he was younger. As I ran the needle and thread through the stamped leather I kept thinking of him smiling as he watched me (both his smile of pride and his smile of “you dumbass” as I screwed up a simple part because I wasn’t paying attention!).
As I was working on it I had to cut the string to size. What tool did I use? The only one that felt appropriate, the Boy Scout knife I’d received from Grandpa Kreiling many years ago (I blogged about it last year). Something about using it and thinking of Grandpa just felt right as I finished up I was listening to the boys have fun and felt the immense pride of being their dad.
And that’s when the moment hit me. I looked down as I slid the knife from Grandpa into the finished project created by my boys and I as I thought of my dad… I saw the finished project, I saw my boys playing, and I saw Dad and Grandpa together and smiling with pride standing next to me. I saw that all, and I cried tears of happiness.