So, it turns out that I’m also a Girl Scout leader. Who knew?! I just got back from watching the girls bridge from Brownies to Juniors and I was thinking about something that happened last weekend, so I thought I’d share…
I’ve led this troop since she they were in kindergarten. They are now 9 year old Brownies who sold a TON of cookies this year. One of the activities they planned to spend their cookie money on was horseback riding. This they did last Sunday.
It was actually a badge workshop wherein they learned about different types of horses, parts of a horse, etc. At one point, the workshop leader described a mare. Then, she described a gelding.
When I heard her say gelding, my ears pricked up because I wanted to hear how she was going to describe this state to a bunch of 9 year olds. She said something fairly innocuous about a gelding being a male horse that has been altered so it can’t make babies.
Now my daughters know about the making of babies (much to Thing 1’s chagrin), but I know there are some families out there who are not yet prepared to have that conversation with their 3rd grader, so I wondered if that description had tripped any wires in any of the girls’ minds.
I made a joke to my co-leader that now I was going to have to get permission slips from all the parents to have a “difficult conversation” and we both laughed (yes, Girl Scouts really does have a permission slip for that). From there, we went on to the terrors of junior high and tried to see who had the most horrifying teen promiscuity story. (Now that’s scary! Have you SEEN Oprah?!)
While driving home afterwards, I asked the girls what they had learned about horses that they hadn’t already known. When one girl piped up that she didn’t know that the boy horses could have babies, my heart skipped a beat!
It skipped two beats when another girl (and my daughter) corrected her and said no, they can’t have babies. I could just hear the first girl’s cogs turning. She opened her mouth to question this, but my co-leader and I took that opportunity to jump into the conversation; loudly trying to change the subject.
We succeeded, but I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at bedtime for that family…”Mommy, what’s a gelding?”
I am so getting called to the principal’s office!