I love our Cub Scout Pack. I had reservations before we joined years ago, but it’s turned into a source of great friendships and experiences. I will admit the one thing I hate about my son’s involvement in Cub Scouts though is sewing his patches on to his uniform. A few years ago, my friend gave me her collection of dozens of different color threads to match the various patches–a changing of the guard of Scout Moms, if you will. I was so grateful, because I was getting really pissed off at the various shades of purple, gold and blue. I hate sewing those patches on so much that I save them all up to do once a year. So yes, in case you’re wondering, my son’s uniform is totally not up to regulation 10 months out of the year.
I don’t really care. Because I hate how tiny some of those damned arrows are. I hate how each patch has a very precise placement on the shirt. And “upside-down” or “missing” are never options. Those Scouts are not minimalists with their patches either. So I grumble with my needle and thread and thimble twice a year, and I curse while I’m sewing. (Because I would grumble more if I hauled out the sewing machine.)
I know, I know. There are adhesives for this to make my life easier. I’m old-school though and for some weird reason, I want these patches sewn on. I know, I know. There’s a lovely local tailor who only charges $1 per patch, and she is very fast and good. She actually sews them on straight and properly and promptly.
People ask me why I don’t just drop the shirt and patches off to her instead of whining and griping. Part of it is that I’m cheap, and if it’s something I could technically do, I won’t outsource it. But more importantly, I see no reason why my son ought to look polished and put together, AND pay for that privilege when we’re a little mis-matched, askew, and late anyway (with some brief moments of being upside-down and/or missing).
Let’s not be pretentious and pretend to be what we’re not. Let’s show up and salute that flag and plant trees and collect food donations just the way we are. A little messy and sloppy, but mostly all there–at least the important parts that matter. With good intentions. On my honor, we’re doing our best.