I was amazed to realize this morning that I have not touched a pair of knitting needles for a week.
But Girl Scouts are starting up for the new school year, and as it happens I am going to be a Daisy leader this year. Daisies are the newest level of Girl Scouting -- new since 1984, at least, after my time in Scouts -- they are in kindergarten or first grade, before Brownies, who are in 1st-3rd grades or ages 6-8. Things are getting very busy for me now, organizing a brand-new troop, registering girls, planning crafts and actitivies, and wondering what I've gotten myself into!
I remember having mixed feelings about Scouts when I was a girl, but as happens so often as one gets older, sentiment tends to win out. I remember feeling left out when my school's Junior troop folded and I had to go to another troop where the girls all knew each other at their school and were more than a little clique-ish in some cases. I remember feeling utterly dismayed (and not a little disgusted) when we were doing the sewing badge and I went ahead and finished the pinafore top we were all making because I already knew how to sew, and the girl whose mom was in charge of the project got catty and said that I should have waited for everyone else -- my first experience with the bitchiness of preteen girls. But I also remember laughing a lot, and singing, and washing my mess kit in a ditty bag (delightfully bizarre), and feeling very brave that I'd actually knocked on strangers' doors and sold them Girl Scout cookies, and the delight of sisterhood when I recognized one of those pinafore tops on another girl for years afterwards.
One of Laura's preschool teachers has been a Brownie leader for many years, and so Laura fell quite easily into that troop when she entered kindergarten -- a year earlier than usual for Brownies, but I've noticed that leaders can be very flexible! Julia, I was pleased to find, decided that she wanted to do something different from her big sister, and wanted to be a Daisy. I started looking for a troop, but since the Daisy level is only for a year, troops form and disband fairly quickly, and it soon became obvious that if Julia was to be a Daisy, mommy would have to put her own hand up a little higher.
I must add that while I am, I think, not your bra-burning-type feminist, I am very strongly convinced that girls still need more than a bit of extra encouragement in this world, and that while I am frequently something of a fencer-sitter on political issues, I am firmly in the women's-issues camp. It's kind of weird to think of myself as a role model, but I seem to have found myself in that position almost without my realizing it, as a parent and now as a Girl Scout leader-to-be. I've always thought that role models are more effective when not promoted as Role Models, anyway, by themselves or others, and so I'm hoping that my so-called parenting style will suit the small-l leadership style as well.
(I love that little Daisy patch! The artwork reminds me a little of Lauren Child's, whose Charlie and Lola books are a favorite of ours. I've bought the patches as a little present for the girls, a thank-you for being part of my first experience as a leader.)