-Rev Melissa Fain-
Last week I watched my daughter become the first female Tiger Scout at her district Day Camp. This is something she has wanted to do since tagging along on her brother's events and camps. Last Summer, we went caving with the Webelos, and she was crawling and climbing with the best of them. Everyone was shocked she kept up, never complaining even once. Myself included.
At Day Camp I couldn't stop from staring in awe as she picked up bows and shot them, hit targets with BB Guns, and completed the basic task of hitting a hammer to a nail. When she received a special patch for her BB skills she was joyfully shocked. The fact that she came home and put on a pink tu-tu and became a pretend princess did not negate her experience. It didn't make her magically love her Day Camp experience less.
What is wrong with me? I never stopped her when she told me she wanted to be pretty and fierce. I never questioned when she played caregiver and protector. Then when she shows me how easy it is to be both I'm dumbfounded.
It's those outside voices that have seemed to grow pretty loud recently. I've patiently listened as commentators and those old school Boy Scouts tell everyone that boys and girls learn differently. You can't have girls in a program created for boys without the program degrading. They told me the girls would take something away from boys.
Shame on me.
I went in the week ready to help the girls push. Shame on me. I listened to those voices.
Guess what? The girls were amazing. They were strong, and stood right beside the boys in projects.
Shame on me. None of the boys had less of a experience because there happened to be a few girls at camp.
Listen, this is the age of Deborah. Deborah was the only female Old Testament Judge and Prophetess. God called her to be fierce, and even with God calling her those close to her questioned her call. We are raising future Momma Bears, fiercely protective, while also becoming gentle caregivers. This isn't degrading anything. It's amazing, and awe inspiring.
I may doubt my daughter's words in the future, as some of the things she suggests are just imaginatively bizarre, but I will not doubt her potential. That's the key. We are not making the assumption of what our children are capable of. We are stepping back and giving them to opportunity to let them test out their inner Spirit. If we believe our girls can't do something, we should probably test that theory out before we go withholding their chance to try it out. I'm anxious to see these girls become women, and you should too. The age of Deborah has begun.