This past Saturday, I witnessed three milestones of three young men whom I have known since they were children.
One became an Eagle Scout. As I sat, witnessing his Eagle Scout Ceremony among his friends and family, I marveled at the tall, young man before us, his parents as proud as proud can be. Even at 17, I could easily imagine the busy, productive life ahead of him: college, community service, and family.
Later that day, I attended “Bon Voyage” party for a young man shipping out to basic training. He had joined the Navy, after a brief stint trying out college and the blue-collar working world. Both didn’t suit him and, I must admit, it was a little hard, imagining this wild-haired redhead of a young man, with the buzz cut and seaman’s uniform. But, knowing what I know of him, his parents, and my own familial gratitude towards the US Navy, I know he will make his family and his country proud.
Finally — at that same party — I saw another young man, holding his newborn son. He looked awed and little bit stunned. Fatherhood — young fatherhood, at that — was something he hadn’t gotten used to yet. But, surrounded by friends and family, he and his son’s mother has the support he needs. And, while before he was still finding a focus to his life, this new life suddenly gave him that focus.
The ending of childhood, the beginning of military service, the beginning of fatherhood: three milestones of young men, that I witnessed this past Saturday. I have the greatest of hopes for all three of them.