It would soon be my son's turn to enter the 11-year-old Scouts in our area, and I had given some thought to purchasing a brown shirt, but with some trepidation. Those things are expensive, brand new. But then his Webelos leader showed up on our doorstep and gave us a shirt her own son had outgrown. She's awesome, what can I say. Anyway, our shirt woes were over.
My son happily wore his shirt for a few months, and then it went missing. We looked high. We looked low. We looked in between. We ripped apart the house. We looked behind furniture. I even posted the dilemma on my Facebook status, and took all the suggestions that were posted in reply. It wasn't in the freezer. It wasn't hanging on the back of his door. The thing was simply gone.
I began to wonder if perhaps we'd been targeted by Scout-shirt-hating criminals who break into people's houses and steal their shirts. But when no ransom was demanded, I gave up on that idea.
Board of Reviews came around. He couldn't attend in street clothes, so he wore his church shirt and pants. (It took several minutes to find his pants, but I'm really not feeling emotionally strong enough to go into that.) He passed the requirements to achieve his second class ranking (woohoo) and then it was time for Court of Honor.
You absolutely must have a Scout shirt for Court of Honor. And, since he was part of the color guard, it was even more important than ever. I decided that the house was going down. I was going to peel back wallpaper to find that shirt, if that's what it took. I mobilized my entire family. We started at one end and began to demolish the place.
"I found it!" came the cry. My son had shoved it back behind an old TV he'd been hoarding for parts. My heart rejoiced.
"We have an hour until Court of Honor," I said. "Go throw your shirt in the wash. It's dusty, but we have time to get it ready."
With much pomp and circumstance, the shirt was placed in the washer, and then the dryer. The relief was great. I was overjoyed.
"Mom!" came the wail.
Did you know that a dark green crayon, when left in the pocket of a light brown Scout shirt, and then sent through the dryer, leaves dark green ink streaks all over said brown shirt, in such vast quantity that one would need an abacus to number them all?
I saw red. I also saw green, which caused me to see red.
There was nothing that could be done.
I grabbed the telephone and called a ward member, who has several sons, and begged and pleaded to borrow a shirt. Bless her heart (and her son's heart) they lent us a shirt.
"Go put on your church pants," I said to son. "We're going to be fine - we're borrowing a shirt. But we need to get your lower half ready."
"But I don't know where my church pants are," son said.
Oh, let us not even get started ...
We found the pants. We wore the borrowed shirt. He participated in the color guard and he received his second class. And then we obtained another Scout shirt. Which I stapled to his forehead, right next to his church pants.