Max is going to try out Cub Scouts. This week I spoke with the Boy Scouts leader in our area, Chris, and we'll be attending the next Cub Scouts meeting. Max will be in the Bear Den, a group with maybe 8 kids who are all his age. I like that it's small.
"We also have monthly meetings where all the dens come," Chris said.
"Max is not really into loud noises and crowds," I said. "So we might not be at those."
Chris and I spoke about Max's CP. At first, I'd wondered whether I should mention it, or just let Max show up at a meeting. But, I told him. I've learned that it's better to say something and feel things out ahead of time, make sure there is an open-minded attitude. I figured the Boy Scouts, of all groups, would be inviting. Chris was.
I asked him if they'd ever had other kids with disabilities in Cub Scout troops in our area. He mentioned there had been some boys with ADD. Max's challenges are totally different, but we'll see how it goes. It's the first inclusionary organized activity Max will be participating in, something that's been on my mind since camp this summer.
Dave and I sat out on our deck and had dinner later that night, after my conversation with Chris. I want Dave to be the one to go with Max to the meetings. We don't really have any Daddy-son activities in our life right now. I think it'll be good for both of them.
Dave told me that when he was a kid, his Cub scout den had a boy with CP in it. Usually Mr. Positive, Dave looked kind of morose. "This kid didn't really do much, he just sort of hung out as we did stuff like crafts and learning how to use a knife," he said.
I put my fork down and looked at him. "Honey, you'll be there with Max, you will be able to help him," I said.
"I hope so," Dave said.
So, we'll see.
Meanwhile, this is what I'm wondering: Should the den leader let the other cub scouts know ahead of time that Max has special needs? Or should Dave and Max just show up?
I'm leaning toward just showing up.