I normally don't deal well with compliments. I don't seek them, and I'm generally not sure how to respond when given one beyond a meek "thanks". (Maybe that's all I am supposed to do. Who knows.)
But I got an unexpected one Friday night that made me feel really, really good.
I called a fellow Boy Scouts dad to let him know his son had been re-assigned to my son's patrol. In the process of discussing the how's and why's of the move, the dad said he had been discussing a troop summer trip with his son - including asking if he planned to go.
The son replied he didn't think he would go this year. When asked why, he said "Mr. Whit organized last year's trip [to St. Louis] and that was the best trip I've ever been on. He's not planning this year's trip so I don't wanna go unless he's doing it."
Now I have to admit another parent & I put a lot of work into making last year's trip fun and successful. The few compliments I got at the time were mostly from parents simply offering "hey, thanks for doing this." I can't think of any scout who said thanks unless prompted by their folks to do so. But I had a personal level of satisfaction that most of the trip went off as planned, and that outweighed any compliments that may have been delivered.
This indirect compliment almost a year later; however, really felt good. I've been on the fence so far this year in helping with the summer trip. Someone else is the lead dawg in making it happen, and I've been offering advice only from a distance. But this may re-ignite me to saddle up and work hard again for another fun trip.
Clearly the effort I put into it last year made a solid impression on one kid. And that alone is enough to smile contently and get after it again.