Girl Scouts FTW!

21 09 2009

I am so proud of my 9-year-old girl today, and I thank God,  my wife and the Girl Scouts for what happened this morning.

The story really begins back over the weekend.  We had gone to Camp Arrowhead near Stevenson, Washington for a Girl Scout Camp reunion that my wife was to help with.  I got to meet with a lot of great women who are self-sufficient and inter-connected.  Great conversations about God, life and what it means to be a dad of a Girl Scout.  Our three girls went with us too and I got to experience the Camp Arrowhead life for two day.

We came home on Sunday, tired but feeling real good.  Beth, the middle girl, had not felt well and spent most of Sunday feeling “yucky”,  she didn’t even eat the pizza we got.

The girls went to bed and slept.

This morning, I got up and went to work a usual.  I arrived at the school and dropped off the students.   I looked at my phone, to see what time it was and there was a message from my wife.  Since I was still on the clock, and we school bus drivers are not allowed to use cell phones while driving, I decided to wait until I got back to the yard to listen to the message.

As I was parking my bus from my morning run  my cell rang again.  The caller ID said “Home”,  so I picked it up, expecting to hear my wife’s voice saying that Beth was home sick and she was there.

To  my surprise it was my eldest daughter, 9-year-old Suzy.  This scared voice said, “Daddy, I’m here all alone.  I woke up and it was 9 o’clock and no one is here.”

I could hear the fear in her voice.  So I told her to just wait for me and I would be home soon.    I didn’t know HOW she found my cell phone number.  We don’t have it on a speed dial, and at the moment, I didn’t care, I wanted to make sure she was safe and find out what happened.

I parked the bus and forewent the morning cleaning and started up the hill to the bus dispatch while listening to the voice mail message that my wife had  left.

Turns out that Suzy would not wake up and my wife was going to take the other two girls to day care and come back and get Suzy up.  All well and good.

That was until she realized that she was locked out of the house.

Now this is a mistake that can happen to anyone, and I did get frustrated that things really didn’t go as planed for my family this morning.   Kathleen tried throwing pebbles at Suzy’s window,  she used her cell phone and tried calling in the house, but the phone’s ringer only goes twice, because we are monitoring calls, a whole other story for another time, and the wife was running out of options and time.  Kathleen called Suzy’s school to say she would be late, hoping that she would go to school on her own.   She left a message on the home answering machine, hoping Suzy would check that.

Suzy didn’t think to check the machine.

I called the wife and told her I was on my way home and would get her signed  into school.  This was the first time she had ever overslept and no one was home. I called back  to make sure Suzy was dressed and got something to eat and that I would be home in 10 minutes to take her to school.  The whole time I remained calm and collected, another first for me. I could hear the relief in Suzy’s  voice, knowing that someone was on the way to help her .

I wondered how she was able to call my cell.  On the way to school she told me.

“I found your number on the application for Boys & Girls Club.”

Something inside me cheered to high heaven.

My daughter was resourceful and didn’t give into her fear and panic, she thought this through. She was able to do this on her own, and still finding a way to ask for help.

We got to school, which she could have gone by herself, I took her to the office and showed her what to do if she was late again.  I told her that it was OK that she overslept,  and that I would help her get her alarm clock to work at bedtime tonight.

I told her how proud I was at how she didn’t panic, found my number and reassured her that she did the right thing.

I thank the teachings of the Girl Scouts for this, that God is so wise to make girls self reliant and  interdependent.  Most girls would have really freaked out and not know what to do, but she sought out a parent, in this case her father to get help.  As we all should do when we are fearful of what is happening.  I am amazed at what happened today.  Would I have done that at 9 years old?  I remember a time when I was left at school after a basketball practice and had to walk home because my parents for got to come get me.

I was self sufficient enough to know I could walk home.  I don’t remember if my parent’s praised me for getting home on my own safely.   But I know today that I needed to praise Suzy.

As she walked down the hall towards her classroom I quietly called her name, she turned and looked at me.  I said to her, “You did good, and I love you.”

Back came “I love you too, Dad”.  She smiled a smile that only girls have for their dads.  She quickly went to her classroom.

God has done something right with our family and what we have chosen for their development

Dads and Moms:  If you have young girls, the Girl Scouts are a great place to help develop your young ladies into being strong, interdependent and self-relent.   Too much of our world doesn’t know this.

Dads, just because it’s the Girl Scouts doesn’t mean “girls only”.  Get involved with the troops and the organization.  My girls seeing me go to Arrowhead this weekend showed them that I care what they care about.   You being there at a scout meeting would do wonders for their lives and your relationship with your wife.

Dads,  your children, either boys or girls want one thing and ONLY one thing from you:  YOU!    And it’s the greatest feeling to know that your children are learning to become like you.

I didn’t learn this from my parents, I learned it from the Girl Scouts.  I learned it from the God who is part of the Girl Scouts.

This is a big win for Girl Scouts!

Thanks Father for the Girl Scouts and how THEY have made me a better parent too.

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4 responses

21 09 2009
Verso

It’s a long story, but I was a Boy Scout for awhile and it really helped me realize I was a valid useful person of my own, and helped firm up my backbone against the rest of what the world was trying to tell me.

I know you are partial to the Girl Scouts, but I think any organization that gets kids together and gets them participating in anything that helps them believe in themselves (arts and crafts day at the Library, sports programs, etc) will go a long way toward helping instill some common sense and some crisis skills.

21 09 2009
Linda

How wonderful for Suzie. With you being a McDade, I could see you going ballistic but you held yourself well….big hugs to Suzie.

21 09 2009
katsumasuz

🙂

22 09 2009
gwalter

My heart was touched by her sweet emotion to her dad. Thanks for sharing!

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