Marco, Marty and the Twins
by Nick Brady
Copyright © 2016 – 2016 by Nick Brady, all rights reserved.
If the incident with Brian's car did anything, it convinced him that he was as much a member of the family as Sam and Ben. The more he reflected on what had happened the more he felt fully accepted. He rode his bicycle to work for the next week and avoided Noah's questions about what had happened when he faced the family. He was unsure about how Noah would react to the news of his car.
Finally, Noah was more direct. "So what happened when you got home the other night? Did you catch hell?"
Brian stopped what he was doing and looked Noah in the eye. "No I didn't. I thought that Marty would really be pissed but he was super about it. When Marco and the twins got back later in the day Marty just said that I had had a little accident. Then the next day we talked about it and they weren't pissed at all. In fact that got me another car to replace the old Toyota."
"No kidding? I thought they would give you a hard time."
"I did too, but they were more than decent about it. I can't tell you how great that made me feel."
"Did you tell them what happened? I mean everything?" Noah asked nervously.
"Yeah, pretty much. I couldn't think of a better story so I was honest about it and they seemed to understand."
"So what did they get for you, another clunker?"
"No, they got me something very nice. They said that since I shuttle the twins around a lot they wanted me to have something dependable. I'll drive it tomorrow so you can see it." Then Brian went back to work and was reluctant to say any more.
The next day Brian drove the Sante Fe to the bike shop and Noah saw him drive up.
"Geez, that's beautiful, is it new?" Noah asked with surprise.
"Yes, it is. Brand new," Brian acknowledged with an embarrassed smile.
Noah looked it over with astonishment. "Man, you must be the luckiest guy in the world."
Brian nodded. "I think I am for a fact," then he smiled, "Want a ride? I'll treat us to a coke."
Sam and Ben needed a few merit badges to complete their requirements for Star Scout and Brian was bugging them about getting them out of the way so they could get Star when he had his Eagle Court of Honor.
"It's like this," Brian told them, "You need six merit badges of which four are from the list required for Eagle Scout. You have everything you need now except one more from the Eagle requirements. How about we work on your Lifesaving merit badge? You have a lot of what you need for that already. What you really need is the water rescue stuff."
"We did CPR at camp," Ben reminded him, "how do we do the water rescue part. We don't have a pool you know."
"We can do all that at the YMCA pool. Don't we have a membership at the Thornton Y?"
"Can we do all that stuff in a swimming pool?"
"Sure you can, and I am qualified to teach you. What are you waiting for? It would be neat if we could all advance together."
"Right, that would be cool. I'm ready if you are," Sam agreed.
They decided that Sunday afternoons would be a good time to work on the Lifesaving skills. Brian spoke to the director and got permission for the three of them to use the pool for that purpose. He said it would be acceptable if they confined their activity to one side of the pool so that other swimmers would not be excluded.
It didn't take long before Sam and Ben understood the idea of reaching a troubled swimmer or throwing support to them. Brian first demonstrated approaching a victim from behind so as not to endanger themselves, how to turn the person being rescued on his back then towing them to safety. He let them practice on him, and then on each other. The opportunities for horseplay were numerous but the boys took this seriously and proved to be quite capable.
"I think you've got it," Brian told them, "you already have your Swimming merit badge and know CPR, so there is not much else you need to do."
They looked through the list of requirements and took care of the details, then Brian signed their cards. "I think you are both ready. Look over the things for your Board of Review and we'll see how you do. For sure, make sure you can still recite the Scout Promise and Law. It is embarrassing to flub that at the Star level."
In early November the troop held a Board of Review and all three boys sat nervously for their turn. There were several boys who were being reviewed for various levels. The Tenderfoot candidates were first and the reviews proceeded up the ranks, with Brian last. The questions and scrutiny increased as the higher ranks were considered. Austin, Tyron and Bobby were reviewed for First Class and said they thought they passed. First Sam then Ben came out of the room looking nervous.
"They asked me a lot of tough questions," Ben acknowledged. "I hope I made it."
When finally Brian was reviewed it seemed to take a very long time. Brian finally emerged looking a bit wrung out but confident. "I spent a lot of time prepping myself for this and I think I did OK, but you never know. They didn't miss much."
The candidates sat together in a huddle and talked about how they though they did. After what seemed like an eternity the Scoutmaster and other men doing the review came out with a stack of the check sheets used during the process.
Mr Marshall the Scoutmaster began looking through the sheets and called out the names of those being promoted. All of the younger boys being reviewed for Tenderfoot and Second class were called. Tyron and Bobby made the cut for First Class and looked relieved. Austin was obviously disappointed that his name was not called and slumped back in his chair.
"We have two candidates for Star Scout and they both looked really good," the Scoutmaster announced. "Congratulations Samuel and Benjamin."
"We had no one being reviewed for Life Scout this time so that brings us to our Eagle Candidate. I have had the privilege of reviewing a number of Eagle Scouts over the last few years and I have to say that I don't think I have ever reviewed a scout that was better qualified. Good work Brian."
All those who were promoted jumped up and congratulated each other. Austin looked glum. Mr. Marshall stepped over to him. "Austin, you did fine but you have not held a leadership position as a Second Class Scout. As soon as you complete that requirement you will have everything you need. Please don't be discouraged, you are a fine scout."
Austin looked somewhat consoled and went off to talk to the Scoutmaster as the others filed out of the church.
"That means we can all advance together at the next Court of Honor," Sam said. "When is that?"
"I think in just three weeks," Brian told him. "lets go home to tell Marco and Marty."
When they returned and gave Marco and Marty the good news, Brian cleared his throat and had a confession to make.
I should have told you this before, but when we changed sponsoring organizations we all had to re-register. When I did I sort of made a little change to my name."
"What change did you make?" Marco asked.
"Well, I put down Brian Montgomery. I hope you don't mind. I'm sorry, I should have asked you first but I just did it and then forgot to mention it," Brian explained.
Marty smiled, "If you like the sound of that, we can probably make it legal."
"Really? I feel like you guys are my real family. Whatever else I ever had was bogus. You guys are my family."
"We can talk about that. Marco changed his name when we married," Marty explained, "and it really wasn't that big a deal legally. If you want to be Brian Montgomery I think we would like to see you do that. We certainly feel like you are as much a member of our family as Sam and Ben. How do you boys feel about that?"
Sam and Ben nodded and smiled. "Sure, then Brian will really be our big brother, right?"
"Well, changing his name and adopting him aren't exactly the same thing," Marty explained, "but close enough. We can talk about adoption too, although that might be a little more complicated."
"I feel like you have already adopted me, I just want my name to be the same."
"I think we are all fine with that, right guys?"
It was unanimous.
The Court of Honor was held in the sanctuary of St. Jerome's where the troop was now sponsored. An assortment of parents, grandparents and other Scouting family members made for a good crowd. The immediate family of the Scouts being advanced were seated in the front rows. Father Hoover was there looking proud of 'his' Scout Troop.
There was the usual flag ceremony and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiace, the Scout Promise and the Scout Law, then the ceremony began.
Mr. Marshall acted as the Master of Ceremonies and said, "We have a number of Scouts who are advancing tonight. While we are perhaps most proud to have a new Eagle Scout tonight, we must remember that the trail to Eagle has a number of stops along the way and we are equally proud of the boys who are on this trail. We will begin with three new Tenderfoot Scouts.
The younger boys were introduced one at a time and the Tendefoot and Second Class Scouts were presented with their badges by a mother or father as was the preference of the boy. Then four First Class Scouts were recognized and awarded their badges. Tyron's father presented his badge and Bobby's mother presented his.
When it was time for the Star Scouts there were only two, Samuel and Benjamin and they had asked Brian to be their presenter. He had suggested that Marco or Marty do the honors but they had insisted and he proudly pinned the Star Badges to their shirts.
"We do not have a new Life Scout tonight so we will move now to the eagle ceremony," the Scoutmaster began.
" Tonight we have the honor and pleasure of bestowing the rank of Eagle Scout to a member of our troop. This presentation takes on added significance when one considers that we live in difficult times. Democracy is a fresh conquest for each generation. This is an important and serious matter and a cause for concern of every true American.
"In full awareness of these challenges, the parents of this young man and his Scout leaders have labored long and faithfully. Their efforts culminate tonight in the presentation of the Eagle Award. The success of these efforts will set a pattern for the life of this Scout and for the lives he touches."
At this point Brian was escorted up to the front of the church by an honor guard consisting of Sam, Ben, Tyron and Bobby.
Father Hoover stood and offered a prayer, "Heavenly Father, we thank you for the Scouting movement that has brought this group together in our church. We are grateful for the influence that this Troop has had on the lives of boys since it began. We pray for your continued blessings on this troop and its leaders through the years ahead. We pray that this troop may continue to turn out leaders for tomorrow, prepared as good citizens. Amen."
The Scoutmaster continued, "The Scouting movement constitutes one of the most wholesome and significant developments of our day. Eagle Candidate Brian Montgomery, you have been deemed worthy of the highest rank in its membership. All who know you rejoice in your achievement. Your position, as you well know, is one of honor and responsibility. You are now a marked man. As an Eagle Scout, you will be asked to assume a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to your country, to your fellow Scouts, and to your fellow citizens. As this is a great undertaking, it is therefore right and proper that a board of review make a careful examination of each candidate prior to the presentation of an Eagle Award.
"This candidate presented a record of merit badges earned. These have been carefully checked against council records. The board of review carefully examined the record of this candidate for leadership in his troop, school affairs, church association, in his community, and in the conduct of his Eagle service project.
"This candidate has demonstrated his capacity and willingness to exert leadership in activities that are constructive and worthwhile. It has been satisfactorily established by the board of review that this candidate is putting into daily practice the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. In light of the inquires made, and the favorable results in each case, the board of review has found this candidate qualified and has authorized this court-of-honor to bestow upon you, Brian Montgomery, the rank of Eagle.
At that point Marco, Marty Samuel and Benjamin all came forward and jointly presented Brian with his Eagle badge.
Brian stepped forward and spoke in a firm but emotional voice, "At this point it is traditional for the new Eagle Scout to pin a miniature Eagle pin on his mother. I really don't have a mother, I have two fathers, and if you will please allow me, I would like to give Marco and Marty Montgomery my Eagle pins."
Then Brian fastened a pin to each man's shirt and stepped back. "I have never really had a family until these good people took me into their home and made me feel loved and respected for the first time in my life. I love all you guys. Thank you very much."
Then followed a group hug as the four members of Brian's family embraced him to loud applause. If there was anyone present who was not comfortable with Brian's decision, they kept their mouth shut and clapped.
Following the ceremony there was a reception in the parish hall. There was punch and a big sheet cake with the Scout emblem in the center. At that time Brian realized that his friends Luke and Noah were there.
"I didn't see you guys at the ceremony. I's sure glad you came."
Luke shook his hand, "I'm really proud of you Brian. I goofed around and aged out before I made it to Eagle. I'm sure glad you stayed with it."
Noah said quietly, "I told you I would be here. I liked the part about you being a 'marked man'. I guess that's right, this will follow you throughout your whole life. You will always be an Eagle. You're quite a guy Brian, I'm proud to be your friend."
It was a big day for them all. After the reception was over the five Montgomerys headed for pizza at The Hideaway and congratulated each other again. Brian was very happy but exhausted. "I can't believe I really made it. It was a lot of work but I'm really glad I stayed with it. I could have never done this without you guys. I meant what I said today."
"Now we have two more Scouts to work on," Marco added.
Ben and Sam just grinned, "Hide and watch. We will do it. You better stick around to help us, Brian," Sam said.
"Right. You get to pin our badges on when we do," Ben added.
"Maybe that should be a family thing," Brian told him. "I thought that worked out pretty well."
Marty laughed, "We feel honored. Not many guys get to wear a Mother's pin."
"Not many guys get to have two Dads," Brian reminded him. "I'm a lucky duck."
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]