Andrew can’t sit still. He takes some deep breaths to steady his nerves. He naps. He fidgets. He texts his girlfriend. Eventually, he sits down next to me for a pep talk.
Whether it is an important swim meet, a crucial water polo game, a big test, or a Rosh Hashanah service, Andrew gets butterflies in his stomach. It is part of his process. But, I know he also has just the right amount of self-confidence to see the big moment through and succeed.
Last night was no different. Andrew had his board of review, the final step in his Eagle Scout journey. He has been working so hard for this moment. He was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to choose the right words and speak eloquently in response to their questions. I reassured him that he would know what to say when the time came.
“You got this,” I tell him. It’s my go-to statement for moments like this. It may sound like a brush-off, but he knows when I say this to him, I mean it. And, I think he likes to hear it before he heads out the door.
In elementary school, he made a pact with a good friend to join cub scouts and see their way through to the coveted Eagle Scout rank. And that is precisely what they did. From selling popcorn, earning badges, and learning survival skills on camping trips to completing his Eagle Scout project, Andrew approaches everything with a strong work ethic, a good heart, and those pesky butterflies.
Here is the thing about being nervous. I think it is a good thing. It means you are doing something important. It means you are about to reach a milestone. It means you set a goal and realize you are about to achieve it. It means you care.
Andrew cares. For him, it isn’t just about checking something off of his list. It’s also about what he has learned and how he has met every moment with determination and his signature smile.
And for me, it’s about watching my child transform from a hungry caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.