My daughter and her husband are the parents of three boys between the ages of four and nine. At home they are mommy and daddy but they are preparing to become the Ma and Pa of a much bigger clan. They have accepted the invitation to be a Ma and Pa on an upcoming youth activity for our church. The activity is four days long and it is a re-enactment of the Mormon Pioneer trek across the harsh plains, rivers, and mountain passes to the West.
Each Ma and Pa will have a handcart and ten to twelve youth between the ages of 14-18 as their children. Over 200 youth are planning to participate and it will take the volunteer help of dozens of adult leaders to make it a life changing experience for the youth.
I was asked to go just for one day to host a Pioneer Hoe Down of sorts one night for the entire company but I had committed myself to take care of the three boys while their mommy and daddy were away. I've got my own "Pioneerish" plans for at home with the boys. When mommy and daddy return the boys will have learned about and experienced a bit of pioneer culture too.
The Ma's and Pa's were given guidelines for their Pioneer clothing. My son in law already had his pants and a shirt without a collar and my daughter found his suspenders in a thrift store and the hat was found on E bay. A far cry from actual Pioneer procurement. I was able to outfit my daughter from my own closet for the most part. What does that say about my wardrobe and just how long I hang on to things?
I even had the apron hanging in my pantry and a scrap of eyelet lace in my sewing trunk to add to the bottom to take it from Chef wear to Pioneer wear. Using our local small town resources my daughter found a sheet in a thrift store in the right color to add some length to the skirt and she found a calico fabric remnant for a bonnet.
Most impressive was that HER HUSBAND did all of the sewing while she was away on our girls weekend while he was home with the three boys. That's right he sewed her up a bonnet, added the eyelet lace to her apron, and added a nice ruffle to the bottom of her now Pioneer skirt!
They look like a Ma and Pa to me. What do you think?
Participating in a trek is something that my daughter has always wanted to do. They are both very excited about getting to participate in the experience. They know it is going to be very hard in so many ways. There will be tears, sore muscles, blisters, maybe a few scratches and bruises, exhaustion, little sleep, and probably even some hunger and thirst along the way.
There will be a group of 10-12 young people who will be so blessed by the strength and wisdom of my talented and giving daughter and her fine, and hardworking husband. I know they are going to be wonderful at playing Ma and Pa and the boys and I, well, we're going to have a barrel of fun too!