A couple of years ago, on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, I received a call from my husband, Dave, who serves as scout master in our ward. He was camping somewhere exciting with boys from the scout troop. Our Bishop was along for the trip, too. Since there's never a dull moment with that man, I knew Dave was in good company, and I anticipated with relish the stories he would share upon his return.
Dave's phone call was anything but what I expected. He didn't call to see how I was doing or to ask about our two little girls. Instead, our conversation went something like this:
Dave: Do you think Hank would like to go on the Fathers and Sons outing with me next weekend?
Me: Who's Hank?
Dave: (Laughing) You know, Hank? Our son?
Me: What are you smokin'?!
Dave: Bishop said I could bring my son Hank if I wanted. Or you know her as "Hannah".
Me: Ohhhhhh......funny. I'll ask. (Aside.) Hannah, do you want to go camping with Daddy next weekend? Your name will have to be "Hank" because this campout is only for boys.
Me: She does.
Me: Dave, are you sure it's okay with Bishop?
Dave: He was the one who suggested it.
Hannah was ecstatic. I watched her jump up and down like she'd just learned we were moving to Disneyland to live with the princesses, and the world would be one big fairy tale -- all because her Daddy invited her to go camping.
Little did we know that just a few years later we'd actually have a boy of our own that Dave could take on the Father and Son's outing one day. Even so, what's so amazing about this man I married is that when it comes to his children, he's always been about "equal opportunity". Regardless of gender, he loves them and does fun stuff with each of them, especially things they have expressed an interest in doing. Down the road, if one of our girls want to try out for the high school wrestling team, he'll be her number one supporter. If our little man wants to take dancing lessons when he's older, my husband will never miss a recital.
Regardless of what we think our children should or shouldn't do or be or like or pursue, as long as it's "virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy"*, we need to embrace their choices. More importantly, we should give them every opportunity to discover what it is they love, even if it doesn't follow traditional gender-specific guidelines. I've found that sometimes boys make the best chefs and girls make the best police officers.
And some little girls would think the world of their Daddies if they were invited to go camping once in a while. I know my daughter was.
*Taken from The 13th article of Faith
Photo Courtesy of zoniedude1 on flickr
Katy is a musically inclined mother of three who loves life, her husband Dave, and cheesecake. Ahhhh....blessed cheesecake. Her fun filled roller coaster of thoughts can be found at www.ourdaisylife.blogspot.com. Admission is always free.