Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Children Step Up

For reasons too dull to repeat, I missed the Super Bowl this year. Everyone knows how it went - badly for the Denver Broncos. The postgame postmortem is liable to go awhile, and everyone from grade school kids on up will have a shot at saying what went wrong, but I hope it doesn't become a permanent cloud over the team, the city or the area. That would be like France, still unable to quite get over their military failure in WW II. In the meantime, congrats to Seattle, who has, if I'm not mistaken, their first major pro sports team champion since the NBA's Supersonics a good number of years ago. 

I know this family from church pretty well, including its lengthy list of children. Spencer is toward the bottom of the birth order, but, if anything, that seems to make it easier for him to talk to older people. He's just turning eleven.
I was at a Boy Scout Court of Honor last week and happened to be seated next to Spencer, who also knows me pretty well. Someone in the meeting mentioned that Boy Scouts can earn something like 160 or so different merit badges. Having earned exactly zero myself, I have long thought that the dearth of scouting experience is one of the greatest gaps in my entire education. Out of curiosity, I turned to Spencer and asked what merit badge he would like to earn.
The answer he gave was more than a little surprising. Without a moment of hesitation, he said "black  smithing." I had no reason to think he wasn't sincere, but it was a little hard to visualize his small body swinging a huge hammer onto a red-hot piece of metal. The idea made me wish that I could  live long enough to see Spencer get that merit badge, and any other he wanted. In fact, I look forward to the time when he's grown and we are friends 

Last Saturday, we found ourselves in Utah. It was pretty cold, and it's always dry, but there was a reason to be there. It was granddaughter Claire's birthday celebration. Even more important was her baptism, which, for Mormon children, first becomes possible at age eight. Claire handled her part of the event flawlessly and was almost overwhelmingly cute.
A baptism almost always includes a short talk or two noting the occasion and its significance. These talks are usually given by adults, but this time one of them was prepared and given by Claire's brother Lance, who isn't quite ten years old.
I have to say, he was impressive. He looked good, spoke without nervousness to the thirty odd people in attendance, used his time well, cited scriptures and generally did the things one might expect of a much older person. His address was neither too short nor too long. He made me feel that I had a small genetic input into a boy who could make a real contribution if given the chance. Well done, Lance. Thanks for being willing and ready to step up. 


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