Let’s talk about Tucker

April 29, 2016 at 2:06 AM Leave a comment

More often than not in recent months my posts on this blog have been about Millie or congenital heart defects (CHD) or Millie and her CHD. Of course this is totally understandable given the impact Millie and her CHD has had on our lives. And honestly, I probably post about Millie more on social media as well, which might still be the case even if she didn’t have a CHD. Part of the reason for that is that she’s still little and is constantly changing. I used to post way more often about Tucker when he was little too because he was always growing and changing and doing cute things. All that being said, I have some stuff to share about Tucker.

Tucker is becoming quite an amazing young man in his own right. Sure, we have the typical struggles I imagine most parents of 10-year-old boys have. Homework. Practicing trumpet. Working on his science fair project. Cleaning his room. Ugh. Just get it done! But in truth, we are pretty strict with Tucker (maybe more so than we need to be) and he deserves to be recognized for some amazing accomplishments in recent weeks.

Pinewood Derby

Let’s start with Cub Scouts and the pinewood derby. In February, Tucker competed in his fifth pinewood derby. Each year he has designed the cars and built them with his dad’s help. And each year he’s taken on more and more of the craftsmanship himself. As a second year Webelo, this year was his last for competing in the derby and he did the bulk of the work on his car himself, with supervision from dad. And would you believe it? He won first place in his pack!  He was so stunned when he won he had a huge smile plastered on his face, but looked like he was hyperventilating as he held his trophy for pictures. So cute.

Because he won first place at the pack level, he was eligible to compete at the district level. So a couple of weeks ago he did just that. At the pack level they use a double elimination method to determine the winners of the race. But at the district level, races are timed. Each car races three times, in three different lanes and the times are averaged. Tucker’s car was getting such good times that we knew early on he would place. When they announced each of the top ten cars our anticipation grew as they got to first place and read his name and time. Again he was surprised. And that trophy is huge!

After the awards, when Tucker went to retrieve his car, a group of younger scouts and dads surrounded him and asked him all sorts of questions about how he built his car and what he learned over his years racing. It was like he had his own fan club. We are so proud of him. He did an amazing job and now we’re on to the council race in June!

Arrow of Light

Tucker also received his Arrow of Light award, the highest honor for Cub Scouts, a few weeks ago. The ceremony was very nice and touching. It included a candle lighting and a real archer, who shot an arrow for each scout to symbolize how their own arrows fly straight and true. He then received a hand painted arrow from his pack’s cub master with separate marks for each of his accomplishments in scouting as well as his arrow of light pin.  After which he gave his dad and myself small version of his arrow of light pin to honor our support in his development as a scout. Then he crossed over the bridge and was welcomed as a Boy Scout. He is growing up so fast!

Papa was able to come to the ceremony, which was really special. Afterward, we went to Perkins to celebrate with some pie. Tucker also received some very nice gifts from Papa that will come in handy at scout camp this summer.

We feel so fortunate to have found a scout pack/troop that has been so welcoming after our last pack folded due to lack of interest/parental support. These people are so kind and there is so much parental/ community support, it’s been very rewarding for Tucker to be a part of it. 


Choir Tour 

A couple of weeks ago Tucker left home for the first time without any family members. He traveled to St. Louis, Missouri with his school’s concert choir and band. They were gone for five days and performed six times at various churches, schools and even Concordia Seminary.

They also toured the Anheuser-Busch brewery (they got to see the Clydesdales), visited City Museum, climbed the tower at Concordia Seminary, saw the famous arch, had a bonfire, ate Ted Drewes frozen custard and had a flat tire on the bus. So exciting.

During their travels they stayed in a dorm, a school, a hotel and a home stay with families from one of the churches they performed at. Quite the adventure, if you ask me.

He was so busy. He sang with the choir, played his trumpet with the band, played in the chime ensemble and narrated a piece for the orchestra. We also learned after he got back that he had a solo in choir, which we were told he did very well!

We were fortunate to be able to see and hear all of his hard work for ourselves at the Spring Music Department Concert last Friday. This is him singing his solo:

I missed him so much while he was gone. A few tears were shed. But it was an amazing experience for him to be able to share his faith through music.

When they returned home we heard from more than one chaperone that Tucker’s energy level is amazing. We were also told that he was very helpful with the luggage at every stop.

He and his bestie sat behind the choir director and her husband on the bus. She told us that they were good traveling companions, but that Tucker had to be told “Shhh. Stop whistling.” or “Shhh. Stop tapping.” on more than one occasion. (Oh. We know. He’s never not making noise at home. At the concert last week he received the Energizer Bunny award from his choir director. Well-deserved.


Tucker has made it onto the A honor roll for seven quarters in a row now. It’s pretty remarkable. Despite the battles about getting homework done efficiently, he is really a very good student and takes his studies very seriously. As I’m sure he’s mentioned to most of you (he’s pretty proud), he’s in fifth grade, but taking sixth grade math and so far he’s acing it. His vocabulary and reading comprehension were off the charts on his standardized tests again this year. A fact that is always amusing to me as I vividly remember a very tearful Tucker proclaiming in kindergarten that he didn’t want to learn how to read!

We could not be more proud. And he does it all while being so heavily involved in so many musical ensembles. He practiced his trumpet religiously, which is always amazing to me considering what a struggle it was to get him to practice piano just a few years ago.
In short, despite everything we have been through these last few years, Tucker is doing so well. It’s not as though he hasn’t been affected by what our family has experienced. Without question, he has. But he has managed, in most cases, to power through and do amazing things. He’s a good kid through and through – a good Christian, a good student, a good scout and a good friend. I’m blessed to be his mom!


Entry filed under: Life.

I Watch Her Breathe Looking Back: Two Years Post-Op

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