The title of this post should read more like the beginning of a corny joke. Three Catholic men and a Protestant cowboy go camping…
This last weekend, me and 3 good friends ventured out into the wilderness for some good old fashion wife & kid-free fun. My wife is a pro-life advocate and public speaker. She gets to travel and sometimes take her good friends on some pretty fun trips.
At some point, she and all the other traveling wives decided it was time for the men to go on a little trip. Why should they get to have all the fun, right? So they coordinated the dates and told us to plan what ever we wanted. We had a few choices, but it just seemed like camping was the best way for us to get away and enjoy each other’s company. I don’t know what it is, but at some point we all get called back to the woods… Even if it is in a camper.
To give you a little background on this group of men:
- The ages range from 32-38
- There are 17 kids between the 4 of us
- 3 are Catholic and 1 was an evangelical Cowboy Church goer
- There was a cop, a paramedic, a stay at home dad, and an electrical engineer
We are a pretty fun and interesting group. People tend to automatically assume that when men get together without any female supervision, the conversations are all sports, sex, and how hot that girl over there looks. That’s just not true. I am not sure how or when it happens, but that kind of talk gets boring. With this post, I really wanted to share that it is possible for men to behave when left to our own devices.
I mean, after all, they are the ones that sent us on this little trip. Did we complain about our wives? Nah. What we talked about is whether or not our wives want more kids, the stresses that having kids can put on a marriage, and how proud we are of them in the jobs they are doing. Oh, and then we of course discussed how frustrating NFP can be.
The great thing about our wives is that they recognize that sometimes you need to have a break from the wonderful chaos. Every so often you need to rest and recharge so you can be the best husband and father God intended for you to be.
(None of us wore a bikini, sooooo… there isn’t a picture of that to share in this post.)
Before you get too suspicious thinking we were acting like dirty old men, let me explain. We were camping at Garner State Park in Texas, and there is a river that runs through it. Hello Brad Pitt 🙂 So yes, we spent a lot of our time in the water, and yes, there were a lot of females of all ages wearing bikinis. All four men in our group have daughters, and if I remember correctly, the conversation started when one of us asked the question, “Would you let your daughter wear a bikini?”
Now, I know the modesty conversation can go many different ways. Just to be clear, we did not bring it up to judge the women and parents around us. It was more about protecting our daughters, and our sons. We really just didn’t like the idea of teenage boys and adult men looking at our daughters the same way we would have before we became fathers. So, to answer the question that started it all…
No, we don’t want our daughters to wear bikinis. At least not while they are living with us. Once they are adults and making their own decisions, hopefully they will understand why we encouraged modesty in the way we speak and dress.
I have this game I like to play when I get with my friends. Pretend you are president for a day. You can change, decree, set into law, abolish, or basically do whatever and it can not be reversed. Ever. You can only do three things, and it can’t be anything obvious like ending abortion. (Of course any good Catholic/Christian would do that first, right??)
For example. You can say, from this day forth, everyone will pay 10% of their income to taxes no matter how much they make. You can get more creative, but that’s the gist. It’s really just a good conversation starter. And our conversation went for a good while. If you you put us all together to un for president for a day, I think things would be a lot better.
Nothing like a few cold ones and the call of the wild to get a bunch of guys talking about their pasts. Confessions are imminent. It was kind of fun to learn about how a couple of us were pretty tame in our youth, while a couple others had a bit of a wild streak. The interesting part is learning how our faith played into our pasts. The truth for all of us was it didn’t matter how far we strayed, God found a way to bring us back.
When it comes to Catholic men who love beer, it doesn’t take long for us to start discussing the finer points of the greatest beverage on earth. Especially when we are drinking it all weekend long.
How much our kids would have loved this
Yup. That’s me coming off that rope. As much as we enjoyed the male bonding and not having to change the diapers of our rambunctious children, there were several times that we brought up how much we wished our kids were with us. It’s important for everyone to have a break. Watching other people’s kids climb trees and swing off ropes into the water is fun, but showing your kid how to do it for the first time is unforgettable. By the time we were ready to leave, we agreed to bring our families the next time we decided to go camping. Or at least have them meet us out there after a couple days of male bonding.
We even prayed for all of our meals
We even took turns praying. You know you are with a good group of guys when you can have have a great time and be comfortable enough to share your faith.