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MUDDY PRINCESSES

I have four grown daughters who are 31, 30, 28 and 27 years old. Since I had no sons, I thought that I would miss out on many activities that I had grown up doing with my father. I mean, girls don’t like to do the same things as boys, right?

Their mother and aunts were great about throwing dress-up tea parties, fashion birthday parties and doing nails and hair. Family get-togethers involved all of the girl cousins gathering in a bedroom and playing princess for hours on end.

But what I found out was that even when the girls were under the age of five, they loved to go hiking in the woods, tramping around in the mud and playing catch in the front yard. They had no aversion to getting dirty, sweaty or even tired after a long walk.

My daughters also enjoyed helping me with projects around the house that involved hammers, nails, and power tools. They were interested in measuring and marking, holding tools and helping me whenever I needed it.

As they became teenagers, it was more difficult to get them to do “Dad” stuff as they had less time and were more influenced by their friends. At that age, getting made up to go out shopping with friends was certainly more appealing than what I had to offer. Though this change made me a little sad, I knew it was important to let go and cherish the memories of our special time together when they were younger.

So, it has come as quite a shock to me that when we visit our daughters, the first thing they say to me is:

Dad, there is a killer hike that I want to try out and have been saving for your visit. Are you up for it?

Dad, can you go to the hardware store with me to help put together a tool set so I can fix things in my apartment?

Dad, look at my new bike. Let’s go riding tomorrow.

Dad, you remember that time we got all wet and muddy in the swamp near our old house? Well, I have the perfect picnic spot picked out and I hope your brought your boots.

Muddy princesses forever!

by Tom Frost, Head Teacher at Hábitat Learning Community

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