My Daughter the Military Officer

For our latest adventure myself and Jade joined the army – and dressing up in military outfits was actually GREAT fun! I think every Dad wants to dress up as a soldier and have fun with their kids, yes yes, especially boys I hear you say… but I disagree. I don’t know what it is about khakis, but you just feel cooler wearing them! When I came home dressed in my outfit (accompanied by a “wife beater” top as my darling wife put it) Jade’s face lit up and straight away her hands went up to try and get herself into the sleeves of jacket. She looked hilarious. Our salutes at each other and drill sergeant shouting had her (and the neighbours!) in stitches as we crawled around in the back garden. I picked up some mud to use as camouflage for my face but I was shot down on that by the mrs and I suppose with the poor state of the garden she was probably right. We then set off to the Military Museum in the Curragh to see the all they have on display and to find out what fun we could get up to dressed like soldiers. The guys there were fantastic, they took us around the place for a quick tour and even posed for a few cheeky photos! (I’m not sure if they were allowed so I didn’t include the evidence here but we’ll definitely be able to embarrass her with them when she's older! Hahaha) The men and women in the military do an amazing job. I think the work they do is taken for granted on a daily basis. It is amazing to hear all about the different sections of the military and what they do and the training that they go through. While I was planning our little trip, I did some research on women in the military and was delighted at all the different departments that they contributed to… from medics in the wars to submarine captains and test pilots during World War II. There’s even a female fighter pilot running for congress at the moment in the US called Amy McGrath who constantly questioned the status quo within the military and made it all the way to the top of her field. Showing Jade the vastness of different professions now at an early age is very important to me. Not because I think she’s going to become a zookeeper, a dentist, a doctor etc but because I believe that storytelling is very important. Storytelling has been the way that generations pass down tradition, cultures, values and through the telling of stories, and by exposing Jade to different norms, I want to show her that she’s “Not Just a Princess”. By talking to her, giving her a different view of the world and playing dress up I plan to show her that little girls are not just made for pretty dresses and bows – and let her know that as she grows she will begin to form her own identity and I know that it will be a confident and informed one. I may be completely wrong on all of this, it is my first rodeo and I’m very conscious of the fact that I’m winging it but hey, we are having an awesome time doing it and even if I AM wrong we’ll have lots of memories and plenty of embarrassing 21st birthday pics to show for it.

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