The Dangerous Book for Women

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From the moment my husband brought home The Dangerous Book for Boys, he and our son have been doing some serious bonding. The premise of The Dangerous Book for Boys is to resurrect some of the classic boy activities of yesteryear - things our grandfathers did as boys that boys today just don't do (like make their own bows and arrows or catch frogs in the creek). Since getting the book, my husband and son have mapped out the battle of Waterloo with green Army men, played an old-fashioned game of marbles, learned to tie sailor's knots, performed magic tricks, and folded the best paper airplanes in the world.

I think my son sensed my jealousy as I've watched this flurry of daily activity. With a serious look on his face, he said, "Don't feel bad, Mom. Maybe they can make a book for you. Maybe they can make The Dangerous Book for Women."

That got me thinking. What in the world would I include in a "dangerous book for girls" (and grown-up girls like me!)?

I didn't have to brainstorm too long - I soon found out that a companion book for girls has just hit the shelves. So I dropped by my local Barnes and Noble this afternoon to page through the brand-spanking-new Daring Book for Girls where I found read about all sorts of activities to try (like rehearsing cartwheels, creating a lemon-powered clock, putting together a toolbox, and making friendship bracelets) and information to learn (like mathematics tricks, letter-writing etiquette, and Latin roots). And among the inspiring short biographies I found features on notable women like Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Amelia Earhart, and Charlotte Badger (a dangerous swashbuckling pirate!).

Sipping my coffee and perusing the book (probably intended for readers at least 20 years my junior), I felt completely inspired - and like a complete dud!

After all, my life often seems rather humdrum. A typical day for me is anything but daring; and the same is probably true for most of you. We who've outgrown the fun and freedom of girlhood now live as women in our safe routine, be it at the office or at home, working, parenting, doing household chores, maybe catching a few favorite TV shows, and doing something "special" occasionally like going out to eat - or something absolutely thrilling like that. We live suspended in a paradox, longing for daring and adventure, but leading lives that are usually tame, safe, and monotonous.

I've realized that my life needs a lot more zest and daring - more Robin-Williams-esque "seize-the-moment" moments. And I need it not just in my everyday life, but also in my spiritual life. The Bible, after all, is the ultimate book of dares! God calls us to live out daring love - love that is passionate, 100 percent forgiving, and chock-full of grace. God calls us to show daring kindness - embracing and serving the outcast, the stranger, and the enemy. Jesus calls us to pray with boldness and daring: Mountain, move it!

November 06, 2007 at 7:25 AM

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