Late this afternoon, I ran to the grocery store. As I walked up to the entrance, I saw a woman standing behind a table full of stuff. At first, I thought it was one of those "sign this initiative" people who try to get all kinds of crazy things on the ballot. But, it wasn't. It was a mom -- selling Girl Scout cookies. There wasn't a Girl Scout in site. Just the mom, which is typical isn't it? Kids who sell things are fired up for about 20 minutes, and then it's all up to the parents to do the dirty work. I'm guessing the Girl Scouts got cold and went inside to buy some candy, which is funny when you think about it -- they have boxes of cookies at their disposal.
There was a time that I walked right past the scouts -- boys and girls. But this afternoon, something made me stop. It was guilt mixed with a little compassion. I've been on that other side of the "for sale" table too many times to count, and when someone takes the time to stop and make a purchase, it makes your day.
Girl Scout Mom looked at me and and stammered Are . . . are . . . you going to buy some cookies? Why, I didn't even ask you if you wanted any! That is soooo nice of you!!
I said I'll take five boxes please. Girl Scout Mom jumped up and began filling my order. As she did, she exclaimed Thank you so much for doing this. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. In my head I thought: "I do know how much you appreciate it. But outwardly, I just smiled and handed her my money.
The Mom placed my boxes on the table and said
Thanks for supporting the Girl Scouts.
You are so welcome I replied.
What she didn't know is that I wasn't supporting the Girl Scouts
as much as I was supporting her.
I bought cookies I didn't need because I know what it's like to stand there for hours on end in the freezing cold, or sweltering heat, trying to raise money. I know what it's like to to have a huge financial goal that must be achieved to pay for uniforms, field trips, and activities. I know what it's like to deliver boxes and boxes of cookies, and gift wrap, and Christmas wreaths. And, I know what it's like to be a parent in charge of a group of youth -- who hate saying Do you want to buy some . . ? over and over again to adults who avert their eyes and walk away as fast as they can.
Girl Scout Mom was dedicated to the cause, just like all the other moms and dads who support teams, leagues, and troops of children. It's not always easy, and it's not always fun. But we do it, don't we? We do it because we love our kids.
Bake sales, fairs, raffles, car washes, Christmas tree lots, selling cookies, gift wrap, pizzas -- it never seems to end. But one of these days, it will. When that happens, it is our duty to remember our "days behind the table" and support the next generation of parents and children by purchasing whatever it is they are peddling -- even if we don't need it.
And speaking of Girl Scout cookies, I took my boxes home and hid them in the closet. I have to hoard them -- do you?? When it comes to Thin Mints, my kids are human vacuums, and so is Matt. They can consume 5 boxes in one night, and they do, if I forget to hide the cookies. I need to make these last a while. After all, we won't get them again until next year. That's a looooong time to wait for the girls in green, wouldn't you agree??
P.S. My post about "Snow Pants" made the front page of BlogHer today. Check it out!