Austin was a little small for his age, but that didn’t change the fact that he was ready to start taking on the responsibilities of adulthood. Austin’s father had high expectations for him, and Austin did not want to disappoint. It was easy for many to look at Austin and see him as a little boy, but his old man knew it was time for him to take part in the traditions that he and his father had experienced.

Austin knew his dad was a member of a special club. Different from a bowling league or anything, it was something more secret. Even scary. Austin spent a lot of his childhood watching as his dad and grandpa would go off on retreats and special outings, wondering what they were doing. All he knew was that they would come home late, smelling like campfire, with satisfied smiles on their faces that made him curious.

He didn’t know anything about it and was discouraged from even asking questions. It was always, “You’ll know when you get older” or “You’ll see one day.” Years passed with him in the dark until the day came his dad told him he was ready.

Austin didn’t know how he was ready. He wasn’t prepared or trained or given any kind of warning. He still felt like the young boy staying up late to watch his dad’s car pull up in the driveway, hoping to get some sign of what he did with his secret nights. He still slept in the same small bed, his body barely changed, and still inexperienced in anything that would classify him as an adult. Nevertheless, he did not want to disappoint.




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