Tom’s status as my favorite husband remains secure. He may not always notice when there are less than four squares of TP hanging on the roll, but he’s a dandy guy to have around when you’ve got some children in need of rearing. On Tuesday night last week, I ran into the father of one of Laura’s school friends in Trader Joe’s. He told me that he was taking his daughter on a YMCA Adventure Princess (a group formerly known as Indian Princesses, the father-daughter version of the group formerly known as Indian Guides) camping trip that weekend, and that he thought that Tom and Laura would really enjoy it. I told him that it was so kind of him to think of them, but that Tom really isn’t a camping sort of guy. He went on to explain that this trip would involve cabins and indoor plumbing, canoes, climbing walls, quality father-daughter time, and (for the sake of not outing a great group of guys who take their daughters to Y camp), let’s just say “tasty beverages” during poker after the kids are asleep. He encouraged me to have Tom call him, and while I didn’t think there was much of chance that my corporate-lawyer husband would hitch up the wagons for a spontaneous camping trip in the mountains, Tom did call that very night. And I only encouraged him a tiny, little bit. 😉 And then that very night Tom decided that he and Laura would join the tribe and go camping (cabining?). I know Tom’s a great dad, and I’d like to think I’m a great mom, but I’m tossing and turning on my 400-thread-count sheets just thinking about camping with the Brownies, an event that looms in my Girl Scout Co-Leader future. So hats off to Tom for making the sacrifice to give his child an enriching experience, fun with her friends, and quality father-daughter time! (I personally think it was the “tasty beverages” part that won Tom over, but still.)
For the sake of his child, Tom went for two nights without much sleep, slept in a bunk bed in a room with three six-year-olds and two other dads (one whose tribe name is “Snoring Bear”), and shared one bathroom with fifteen people. Tom and Laura came home filthy dirty (no opportunity for showers when fifteen people share a single bathroom), but the pile of laundry wasn’t so bad since it appeared that they mostly wore the same clothes for two days and nights. And even with all of that, Tom said that he and Laura had a great time. There was bead trading, there was hiking, there were campfires, and all of the stuff that you might expect at such a camp. Although the passion in a marriage will naturally ebb and flow throughout the years, I must say that when Tom came back I looked at him with a renewed gleam in my eye. And it wasn’t because of the pungent pheromones produced by his unshowered body. No, I felt all smitten and in love because this man, my husband, truly loves his daughter, and acted selflessly to demonstrate it. Laura came back and told me that she learned “six sayings” and that one of them was “Make your dad your forever friend.” How cool is that? One of my most fervent wishes for my children (along with health, happiness, and a graduate degree) is that they marry someone who treats them the way that Tom treats all of us.
Tom said that the weekend also provided him with one of his proudest moments as a father, which happened when the activity of target practice was discussed, and Laura turned to him and said, “Daddy, what’s a rifle?” Now it isn’t that we believe in gun control around here. We don’t. In our family we believe in gun elimination. I know that there are some who do not share our views, but isn’t it nice that we can all have different views and still peacefully coexist in our world? 😉 Yeah, yeah, we know all about the second amendment and the reasons for it. Tom and I happened to study the U.S. Constitution in law school. But folks, we don’t need to hunt for food anymore, and while I know all of the arguments (the right to protect your home from criminals, security against totalitarian regimes,* etc.), statistically, the main purpose guns serve in our society is to shoot defenseless animals for sport, commit violent crimes, murder people, and accidentally kill gun owners’ children. Laura didn’t know what a rifle is because we’ve never let her play with even a toy version of a gun. Imagine what the world would be like in twenty years if every child born from today on never knew what a gun was.
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
*Like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, you know, those totalitarian regimes that have had gun control for years.