In August, I volunteered to be den mother for my 1st grader's group of Tiger Cubs. A decision I regret twice a month, every month since then.
Boy Scout activities fall onto me, because as Paul likes to remind me, "I didn't sign up for anything."
No. He didn't. However he is a boy -- which means some Boy Scout activities should really remain among the boys.
For example - Winter Camp. Winter Camp is a wintertime camping trip to Camp Wilderness near Park Rapids, MN. Two nights, three days of testosterone filled fun. To hear other scouts talk about it, Winter Camp is better than Disney World on steroids. Needless to say, my 9-year-old and 6-year-old were totally psyched for Winter Camp.
Fortunately, the 6-year-old isn't allowed to stay overnight.
Unfortunately, the 9-year-old must be accompanied by an adult.
So... because I volunteered for Boy Scouts - Winter Camp falls under my realm. I told Paul that maybe this trip would be a great experience for Zayd to have with his father.
Paul wasn't buying it.
There are 6 adult men going... and 15 Boy Scouts.
Six adult men that I don't really know. At all. In a cabin. With 15 Boy Scouts.
So I did what any woman in my position would do, faced with the possibility of sharing a cabin with 21 males....
I used guilt.
I called him on the cell phone from our Boy Scout Pack meeting. The Pack Leader needed an answer as to whether Zayd would be attending Winter Camp. Evan, my 11-year-old, who was with me that night, also begged to attend. The Pack leader said having a sibling come along was fine.
Paul: What's up?
Me: I wanted to talk to you about Winter Camp.
I know he doesn't want to go. He had already told me he didn't want to go.
Paul: I'm not going.
Me: Okay. Wait a second. Don't you think the boys would love to go?
Paul: I'm sure they would. But I'm not going.
Me: Wouldn't you have LOVED to go to something like Winter Camp?
Paul: I did go... but my dad didn't have to go with me.
Me: But times have changed Paul. It's safer if a parent goes along.
Paul: That's fine Najla. If you want to go, then go.
Me: Okay. That's fine. I'll go.
Me: But I should tell you that there are about six dads going.
Me: And I just want to make sure you don't have a problem with me sharing a cabin in the wilderness with six adult males.
Paul: Najla. I don't want to go.
Me: I totally understand and I'm willing to go. But I just thought you'd like to know.
Me: And you know that I don't know these men very well.
Me: And there are no other women going.
Me: And I don't really know what the accommodations will be like.
I hear a big sigh on the other end.
Paul: Do they HAVE to go to Winter Camp?
Me: Paul. No. Of course they don't HAVE to go. But we both know how much they'd enjoy it.
Paul: I really don't want to.
Me: Okay - that's fine. I'm going to sign them up and I'll just go. I'm sure it will be fine. Don't you think? I mean, there really isn't anything I should be worried about... right?
I hear another sigh.
Me: Fine what?
Paul: Fine. I'll go.
Note: Winter Camp is this weekend. More to come.